Defend The Right To Strike

No privatisation, fight the big business agenda

Defend The Right To Strike

AFTER MARTIN Stanley, the industry regulator’s recent vicious attacks on postal workers, it is easy to see why Royal Mail management felt confident to provoke further strike action after the 24-hour official strike at Watford.

A London postal worker

Issuing blanket accusations, without foundation or evidence, of stealing giro books and passports and misdelivering “one million items a week”, gave a green light to managers around the country.

The Way Forward deal has failed. Management are using it to deny postal workers even the 40-hour week. And they have been resorting to a ‘get tough’ approach to discipline.

Workers at Nine Elms in south London for example, had already agreed to ask for a ballot for industrial action on managers’ abuse of the Irregular Attendance and Conduct Code procedures just before the Watford strike.

Managers have been instructed to issue Stage 1 and Stage 2 warnings regardless of the circumstances.

This has led to the sacking of one worker who was off sick due to industrial injury and one who had a miscarriage. They have been told they can appeal but there is a four-month wait and they won’t get paid during this period.

Although management threaten us with the regulator, and talk about ‘quality of service’ they want to make cuts and get rid of jobs. Their policy of confrontation with the union will do nothing to improve services.

They should stop transferring work provocatively and stop victimising union members.

Postal workers have had to take action to protect their jobs and conditions, as the bosses prepare for privatisation. London Underground workers are in a similar position, with a series of strikes against the threats to safety posed by privatisation.

Yet, with a warning of things to come, Tony Blair has condemned these strikes as being ‘unjustified’. And the Tories are already raising the idea of strike bans for essential services.

Health workers, postal workers, rail workers, council workers are having to fight back against Blair’s big business agenda. New Labour want us meekly to accept cuts in jobs and working conditions so they can sell services off to their fat cat friends.

  • For national action to defend jobs, working conditions and services. Don’t let any group of workers stand alone against the privatisers.
  • Campaign to scrap the anti-union laws and defy them when necessary.
  • Trade unions to be democratically controlled by the members.
  • Full-time officials should be regularly elected and receive the wage of an average worker.
  • No to the fat cats. Renationalise the privatised utilities under democratic working-class control.