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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 April 2020

Postal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

photo Paul Mattsson

photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Gary Clark, CWU Scotland No.2 branch secretary

Postal workers give the public a great service. But in this is a time of national emergency - we should be doing this in as safe environment as possible.

We should only safely deliver essential items, with proper PPE and observe the two-metre safe distance. But from reports from all over the country, this is not happening.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) reps are going out and sourcing hand sanitiser etc for their members. It is shocking Royal Mail hasn't provided them.

The government says only essential work. What is essential about postal workers delivering advertising leaflets? This time could be used to deliver medical supplies and other items to people in self-isolation, particularly those at-risk or being shielded.

We are reaching breaking point. But now we have to deliver a letter from the prime minister to every address in the country when thousands of postal workers are either off sick or in self-isolation.

Localised actions are already starting to take place. At the Alloa sorting office in Clackmannanshire in Scotland, workers have walked out over health and safety, and junk mail deliveries.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 1 April 2020:


Coronavirus news

NHS workers speak out: austerity has left us unprepared

Schools: union oversight needed to end chaos in provision under coronavirus

Councils must use resources now for emergency response

NHS supply chain worker: privatisation has cut equipment quantity and quality

Self-isolation class divide: decent homes for all!

Fully fund hospices to care for vulnerable children

Scandalous conditions in food distribution centre

Coronavirus news in brief


World War Two

All in this together? The 'Blitz spirit' myth


What we think

PPE, tests, full pay - for all now

Labour must resist 'Covid coalition': Workers need their own voice and party

Emergency legislation: Trade unions must be on guard against attacks on workers' interests


Food supply and the coronavirus crisis

Capitalism means empty shelves, food insecurity, and soaring profits - the case for a socialist alternative


Workplace news

Key workers should make bold demands

Essential workers deserve more

Working in Mike Ashley's empire: After lockdown we won't forget how we've been treated

Hull construction workers force bosses to shut down site over health and safety fears

Bosses concede to walkouts in Northern Ireland

Bus drivers halt sackings - now restore our pay

Postal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

Working from home during the pandemic

Leicester: Nylacast worker exposes truth

Refuse collection workers strike


Benefits

Fight for safety, staffing and services - Covid chaos for benefits claimants

More than ever, we need accountable union leaders


Campaigns

Help us continue to fight for workers and socialism

Building the Socialist Party


Readers' opinion

Going viral - Socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis


 

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Related links:

CWU:

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

triangleBattle with BT management needed to win real pay rise

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

Health:

triangleAngry health workers demand 15% now!

triangleCapitalist profit and the race to develop a vaccine

triangleSketch: The rule of six - some guidance from your government

triangleOur lives and livelihoods at stake

Postal workers:

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

Workers:

triangleNHS workers: "We deserve a fair wage" - 15% now!

triangleNational Shop Stewards Network lobbying for a lead from the TUC

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