Socialist Worker

Posties: 'Together we will win!'

Issue No. 2056

Postal workers from across Britain have contacted Socialist Worker about the situation in their offices, and their views on the fight to come. Here is a selection of those contributions. To send your views, email reports@socialistworker.co.uk

Mohammed from the Midlands: 'A manager pushed me at work this week. I was outraged and lots of my union mates wanted to walk out. We stayed because of the national strike coming up.

'It feels like there's a policy to get us to walk out unofficially on a local basis, and thereby to mess up the national strike. But of course we can't just sit there and take it indefinitely.

'If management are acting in this way then the union needs to have a strategy of all of us, right across the country, defending our rights and conditions whether it's official or unofficial.'

Terry from the Home Counties: 'I am a union rep and this week management refused me time off to go to a meeting which in normal times I would have got. It's a clear provocation.

'It's a foretaste of what would happen if we did not win our dispute. Every tinpot dictator will be bolder to have a go at us. The job would be a nightmare. We've got to win.'

Mike from London: 'The pressure from management is extreme. They are constantly threatening us with new conditions and changes to our contracts.

'It is really important that we get a date for the strike. I am sure our executive will do this soon.

'There is a great mood to hit back, and we won't forget the bullying and harassment we have suffered during these last few days.

'To be honest, if the national dispute wasn't coming up then I would have argued for a walkout. But we have stayed in because we all want to come out together.'

Anna from the south west of England: 'I'm a manual data entry worker, the lowest of the low in pay terms. Sometimes that makes it hard to organise.

'But this time the feeling is great. People are joining the union to get involved. In my section four people joined this week.'

Winston from the north west of England: 'I'm a counters worker in a high street post office.

'We're not the most militant lot, but we know we'll get massive public support if we strike, so long as we make it clear we're defending the public service and stopping post office closures as well as maintaining our pay and conditions.

'I really hope that the whole of the postal workforce – Royal Mail, counters, cash handling – all go out together. It's one set of attacks and we need one united response.'

Paul from Glasgow: 'This is about a bigger fight – against privatisation, for public services, against the idea that competition rules and that we all have to accept worse and worse conditions as the price of keeping our jobs.'

Steve from East Anglia: 'Everyone needs to get behind us. Please support us! If we win then the government will find it much harder to hold down the pay of other public sector workers.

'If we win then we can halt the closures and the attacks on our pensions. If we win then it will be a real lift for the whole trade union movement. And if we lose... well, I don't like to think about it.

'We don't cross picket lines when other groups of workers are on strike, so I hope we can get a bit of that solidarity back when we're out. Please come to our picket lines.

'I know it'll be early morning but it will give us all a lift if you turn up with your union banner, a flask of tea and your good wishes.'

John from London: 'I went to a joint union meeting last week on the pay issue – teachers and local government workers and civil service workers and health workers. I've been in our union for 19 years, but I've never been to anything like it before.

'I learned a lot and was really inspired. People talk about joint union action, but that meeting made it real for me. Together we will win!

'I'd urge everyone to hold joint union meetings in their towns and cities, and to invite a postal worker to speak at your union branch or just a workplace meeting.'

Sharon from the north east of England: 'Can we do things to increase the effectiveness of our campaign between strikes? I'm in a delivery office and I'm saying to all my mates that we should keep to the rules at this time. Don't use your car to speed up deliveries.

'Don't come in a minute early. Have your bag weighed before you go out to make sure it's within the limit.

'If you come to the end of your paid time, then cut off, bring the mail back. Don't work for nothing for an employer which is so difficult towards us. It's not illegal to follow the rules!'

Sajid from the East Midlands: 'Can we have a demonstration, if not during this strike then during another one? I'd love to see all the workers who support us coming out, even if it was just a lunchtime.'

Some names have been changed to protect contributors from management intimidation


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