A real feeling of strength and unity was to be felt on our picket line today at Leicester North delivery office. We had been waiting for this day for weeks and as one worker put it “this is our day to shove it right up Royal Mail and Gordon Brown”.
It was not just the feeling of unity shared by our own workforce, which saw only two people willing to break the strike in our office, but a real feeling of solidarity from other groups of workers.
Refuse collection workers from the T&G union, refused to cross our picket line to empty our dumpsters. The British Gas workers based on site, in the GMB union, had voted the day before not to cross our picket line forcing Royal Mail managers to take their work to a local McDonalds car park. Several truck drivers delivering supplies into our canteen and office refused to cross the picket line, one stating, “your fight is ours, there is no way I’m coming across your picket” then raising his fist in support.
A delegation from the NUT teachers’ union came to give us support, bringing their branch banner with them, and a delegation from UCU college union came with an open letter addressed to us stating their full support for our strike. The message from both was that we all face the same cuts, the same attacks on our pay and conditions and that this could be a the beginning of a public sector wide strike against Gordon Brown’s pay freeze.