Postal workers determined to fight

AT THE same time as CWU strikers rallied in central London, 65 postal workers met in Dagenham, east London. Bob Gibson, a national CWU official, was there to address rank-and-file activists.

Manny Thain

The strike was even more solid than the last one in east London and Essex, especially in Barking, Ilford and Romford.

Last time management in Romford used mini-buses with blacked-out windows to get scabs into work. This time, they ferried phantoms – it was just an attempt to demoralise the strikers.

40 managers had been sent down from Birmingham to process mail. Bob Gibson pointed out that anti-trade union legislation outlaws the use of flying pickets while management can bus strike-breakers around.

Concern was raised from the floor that selective action, or the continuation of irregular 24-hour strikes, could lead to the campaign running out of steam if spread over a long period of time. There is a sense of frustration, stemming from an understanding that only resolute action can force Royal Mail to make concessions.

An improvement in the London weighting allowance is vital for postal workers. The only way they can attain anything like a living wage is through excessive overtime. There is a determination to fight. It is also clear that the CWU is battling to safeguard fundamental gains won in the past and in a struggle for its own survival.