Socialist Worker

How the CWU can build solidarity across the unions

by Merlin Reader, local CWU rep, Mount Pleasant (personal capacity)
Issue No. 2056

Since we announced the strike result in the CWU postal workers' union, I have had lots of invitations to speak at meetings in other public sector unions to explain our dispute and build solidarity.

I went to speak to shop stewards in the Unison union in Camden council in north London on Monday of last week.

They had their own motion on pay and were very interested in our dispute and in building links between different groups of public sector workers.

On Tuesday I went to a packed lunchtime meeting of PCS civil service worker's union members who work for the department of the environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) in central London. There must have been over a hundred people there.

I spoke alongside PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka.

We both talked about the need for united action and the potential political impact of unions taking action together.

I pointed out that Gordon Brown will be a weak prime minister and will follow Tony Blair who has been hounded out because of the war.

We got a really good response. Some PCS members had already taken the petition supporting postal workers round their workplace.

Last Saturday I spoke at a conference of the Socialist Teachers' Association. There were about 120 there and I spoke alongside Tony Benn and Lindsey German among others.

The teachers were very supportive as they are fighting their own battles with the government.

I would encourage anyone who can to organise a workplace or union meeting and invite a post worker along.

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