Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/515/3587
The Socialist 10 January 2008 |
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Postal workers fight to defend the Burslem 12
One hundred postal workers at Burslem, Staffordshire, are now into their fourth week of strike action against the victimisation of twelve workers who have been unfairly suspended since September on trumped up charges of harassment.
Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party
The CWU postal strike 2007
The strike is solid and Royal Mail have been forced to parachute in 218 managers to deliver mail. Royal Mail are clearly under orders from the government to break this strike.
All that postal workers are demanding is an independent review of their cases.
Royal Mail bosses have badly misjudged the determined mood of Burslem postal workers. By suspending all the elected Communication Workers Union (CWU) reps they thought they would be able to impose changes easily and further bully and intimidate workers.
They were shocked that, despite intimidation and after months without their elected reps, workers still voted overwhelmingly to strike.
Stoke Socialist Party members have been busy building support for the strike. Over 6,000 people have already signed our petition for reinstatement of all victimised postal workers and we have passed on dozens of messages of support from all over Britain and beyond. Many financial donations from CWU branches and other trade unions are also coming in but more are needed.
This attack on postal workers at Burslem is not just a local issue. Royal Mail's wider strategy, dictated by Brown's government, is to soften up the workforce for more cuts and privatisation.
Private companies are being encouraged to compete with Royal Mail as others queue up to take a share of the billions of pounds to be made out of a privatised postal service.
These workers are guilty, like others, only of fighting to defend pay, conditions and postal services. But this is an attack on all postal workers and the right of the CWU to continue to represent its members. If Royal Mail get away with this, who will be next?
Postal workers across the whole of Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire area are now being balloted for strike action.
Wider action is clearly necessary to force Royal Mail to agree to an independent review of all of these cases.
- Vote 'yes' to widen the fight for justice
- Reinstate all victimised postal workers
- Defend the right of the CWU to represent postal workers
- No to privatisation - keep the fat cats out of our postal services
For updates, leaflets, posters etc see www.stokesocialistparty.co.uk
Send messages of support to: "Defend the Burslem 12", CWU Midland No.7 Branch, Lindsay Street, Stoke-on-Trent. ST1 4EP. Any donations should be clearly marked: "Defend the Burslem 12". Cheques payable to CWU Midland No.7 Branch. Email: email@example.com, with copies to andybentley3 @tiscali.co.uk.
Support victimised Burslem postal workers
Saturday 19 January.
Assemble at 1.30pm at Burslem Delivery Office in Scotia Road. Rally at Hanley Museum.
Bring your banners
Fundraising social in the evening at Burslem WMC, Furlong Place, Burslem