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From: The Socialist issue 1087, 20 May 2020: Rich get handouts - workers get pay cuts

Search site for keywords: Peterborough - Workers - Royal Mail - CWU

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

Royal Mail management is notoriously anti-worker, photo Paul Mattsson

Royal Mail management is notoriously anti-worker, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Carl Harper, Peterborough Socialist Party

Royal Mail workers at Peterborough Delivery Office left work on the morning of 16 May after learning a line manager had tested positive for Covid-19.

The members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) were unhappy that the manager had been 'operating' around the workplace and failing to adhere to social distancing prior to the result. Management had not even informed the union the test was taking place.

We understand that 95% of the office walked out. Many went home rather than return to an unsafe workplace. Royal Mail bosses say a "deep clean" has taken place.

Many members have requested they be tested too. One worker reports at least three more staff have tested positive, and delivery workers exposed to the manager in question have been tested.

The Socialist Party supports any collective action that workers at Royal Mail and elsewhere take in defence of their members against unsafe conditions.

Postal workers have already died as a result of this horrific coronavirus pandemic. It shows how the private sector is incapable of running vital public services such as Royal Mail. We stand for bringing those services back into public ownership.

But to finally solve all the problems, they should be run under democratic workers' control and management, and as part of a planned, socialist economy.

Then the safety and needs of workers and wider society can replace the search for big business profits at our expense.

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Finance appeal

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.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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