Carl Harper, Peterborough Socialist Party and CWU delivery representative (personal capacity)
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) Eastern 5 branch are celebrating a victory over Royal Mail in a battle over trade union solidarity.
Two members working in Peterborough mail centre were removed from the workplace and were facing disciplinary action after they had submitted a statement of support for another member who has been controversially dismissed.
Members of all the postal grades in Peterborough – including delivery, processing, and distribution – correctly saw this spiteful, retrospective action as an attack on the fundamentals of trade unionism – solidarity between members.
A proposition calling for industrial action up to and including a strike was passed by the branch and endorsed in principle by the CWU postal executive committee.
Following a series of well attended meetings across all of the functions, the company agreed to reinstate the members and withdraw all disciplinary charges.
The company was clearly pushed back by the preparedness of members at Royal Mail to take solidarity strike action.
The company is looking to impose its cost-saving business model following privatisation. In addition to attacking union solidarity, this includes changes to members’ pensions – effectively stealing thousands of pounds from our deferred wages.
The solidarity shown by members gives a clear indication to both the company and CWU of a readiness to fight for our jobs and terms and conditions at both local and national level.