Archive article from The Socialist Issue 495
Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/2007/495/np1528.htm
Fighting low pay, defending jobs and services
POST WORKERS in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are holding a second 24-hour national strike from the evening of Thursday 12 July to Friday 13 July. This follows a very successful strike on 29 June.
Gary Clark, Sub Area Rep, Scotland No.2 Branch
The first strike was supported by between 95% and 98% of the union's postal membership. This was a tremendous result considering the pressure from the management and the fact that it was the first time that 50% of our membership had been on strike.
Management's claims that 60% had turned up for work are nothing more than a joke, as up and down the country you could seen nothing but closed offices with only managers working.
Since the first strike, Royal Mail managers have refused to enter negotiations with the CWU. All they have done is re-affirm their intention to press ahead with their 'business savings' without agreement.
Now we are entering a vital time as it seems that the management are planning for a long dispute. But at the same time, they were taken aback with the strength of support for the strike. Management had planned to try to change our terms and conditions on return to work but were forced to retreat on this because of the strength of the strike.
We have had reports from across the country of support from the public, as they have seen through Royal Mail's propaganda and know this dispute is not only about pay but is also about defending a vital public service. We have also seen massive support from other public service workers as they know they will be facing the same fight as us.
At my own office an NHS manager crossed our picket line to collect mail. But since then, I was invited to speak at a meeting of porters and shop stewards from the Western General Hospital who took a decision not to touch any mail on strike days. We have also seen GMB gas workers refusing to cross our picket lines to pick up their parts.
We must turn the anger and the support into more action that can win a victory. It is becoming clear that the government is not going to intervene against the Royal Mail management - the government has not even asked for talks.
If our 24-hour strikes do not force Royal Mail to the negotiating table we must up the action and link up with other public-sector workers. We must demand not only a resolution to this dispute that satisfies our concerns, but also the total removal of Royal Mail's present leaders, Leighton, Crozier and Co. They are responsible for this dispute, have no interest in running a public service and are only in the industry to line their own pockets.