Socialist Worker

Let’s build on this spirit of resistance

by Paul Garraway, political officer, South Central No.1 CWU branch, personal capacity
Issue No. 2057

CWU union members on strike in Bridgwater recently show the defiant mood among postal workers

CWU union members on strike in Bridgwater recently show the defiant mood among postal workers

At the Save Gloucester Mail Centre demonstration last Saturday it was noticeable that the CWU union campaign and the intransigent attitude of Royal Mail management has had an effect on the membership.

The determination has hardened and post workers are prepared to see this dispute through to victory.

This has also been expressed most recently in the determined official action taken in Heanor delivery office and Bridgwater delivery office.

Our national dispute has the potential to halt Royal Mail’s plans of self-destruction in their tracks. We have the strength to make Royal Mail return to the negotiating table and treat our representatives with respect.

They must come up with a plan that does not run roughshod over our members’ terms and conditions and can provide the quality service that the public so fondly remembers.

We are constantly told that a strike will lose business to competition. This is farcical when, as we all know, we shall still be the ones delivering the competitors’ mail! We are the only ones with a national network and the only ones capable of fulfilling the obligation to deliver everywhere in Britain.

The competition will never be capable of providing the quality of service that Royal Mail can at present. And this is in spite of the management!

The management – millionaires Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier – have the nerve to say that we are overpaid and underworked. The reality is that they have no idea of what real work is and that they are most certainly well and truly overpaid.

What they want is to squeeze every ounce of blood and sweat out of us for the least amount of pay. They care nothing for the service!

The public are only too aware that the service is being devastated. This becomes obvious when they are outside the local post office facing a queue that snakes its way round to the counter some way in the distance.

The fact that Leighton and Crozier are hell bent on destroying the Post Office network makes this more than just an economic battle. We should be putting pressure on the government to stop its market driven agenda and get rid of Allan and Adam.

This could be done quite with coordinated action with the PCS union. Civil service workers are fighting mass redundancies, privatisation, and a below inflation pay offer. Their battle is almost identical to ours and with the same enemy – New Labour.

The PCS has already taken action but the impact of coordinated action would be far greater than just adding together the individual actions.

The CWU leadership should show some of the courage of Heanor and Bridgwater and do their utmost to see that this becomes a reality.

The RMT rail union, whose members have already suffered privatisation, also has the potential for joint action with its oncoming disputes.

The CWU leadership may also wish to contemplate why we continue to fund New Labour when they are attacking us. This question continues to bewilder the membership!

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Article information

Tue 26 Jun 2007, 18:38 BST
Issue No. 2057
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