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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 January 2008

Burslem

Support victimised postal workers

The national march and rally organised by the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) in Stoke on Saturday 19 January gives postal workers and supporters an opportunity to show their solidarity with victimised Burslem postal workers. These workers have been suspended since September on trumped-up charges of harassment.

Andy Bentley Stoke Socialist Party

The rally will reflect the massive support which exists for the four week-long strike of these workers and provides a launchpad to widen this action, which has clearly become necessary to defend postal workers at Burslem and beyond.



The victimisation in Burslem is not because of a few bad managers but is part of a wider strategy to force postal workers into submission. Postal workers in Bristol, South London, Oxford, South West London and elsewhere have already been sacked and suspended and like Burslem, include elected Communication Workers' Union (CWU) reps.

This is an attack on all postal workers and on the right of the CWU to represent its members. This act of provocation must be met with a similar response by the CWU nationally. The national leadership of the CWU needs to fight these attacks with the same determination shown by Burslem postal workers.

There should be no more negotiation on "modernisation" and "flexibility" or acceptance of imposed changes by the CWU nationally, regionally or locally whilst postal workers are being victimised at the whim of Royal Mail bosses.

The decision to ballot 1,500 workers at 20 depots in the Midland No.7 branch area for strike action is a step forward.

The stated aim of regional organiser, Lee Barron, to include the wider Midland area if necessary should also now be put into effect.

But given the widespread scale of victimisation and bullying now taking place and the need to defend the CWU, this is increasingly becoming a battle for the union nationally.

The CWU should fight for the re-instatement of all victimised workers. Wider national action of postal workers may be necessary to defend victimised workers.

Whatever fabricated accusations are made against postal workers we all know that their real 'crime' is that they have fought against the privatisation plans of Royal Mail, dictated by Brown's New Labour government.

The CWU should stop handing over members' money to New Labour. The CWU paid 735,000 to the Labour Party between 2002 and 2005 and has handed over another half a million pounds since summer 2006.

But this has done nothing to stop the constant attacks on postal workers' jobs, pay and conditions and the service they provide. This is like paying bailiffs to ransack your house!

The time has now come for CWU members and other trade unionists to say enough is enough.

We should stop funding Labour and instead use the funds to build a new party to represent trade union members and ordinary working-class people.

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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.

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In The Socialist 17 January 2008:

Fight for a living wage

Burslem: Support victimised postal workers

Editorial: Fight three year low pay tie-ins


Environment and socialism

Stop nuclear power plans NOW!

Is the burning of fossil fuels causing climate change?


Sleaze

Hain's sorry saga of sleaze

Blair's rewards from big business


Anti-Cuts campaigns

Fire cuts threat to our public safety

Cardiff schools campaign grows


Housing Crisis

Nationalise Northern Rock - permanently

Growing crisis in housing


Socialist Party news

Save our post offices

Salford says: "Don't close our women's centre"

'Them and Us': news shorts


Trade unions

Feature: Building the shop stewards' movement


Socialist Party campaigning

Ideas for campaigning and fundraising


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: New year starts with atrocities

Biggest miners' underground occupation in Polish history


Socialist Party review

Review: More Time for Politics, Diaries 2001-2007, by Tony Benn


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Karen Reissman - defend mental health services!

Derby nurses fight management attacks

Liverpool: City of Cuts

Vote Jim Cessford


 

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Related links:

Postal workers:

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

trianglePostal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

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

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