Socialist Worker

Morale high among striking post workers

Issue No. 2061

Preston

There were 14 pickets at Preston mail centre on Wednesday evening, including several part timers.

Barry Bowes, the CWU’s area processing rep, said, “Once again morale is really high and the pickets are strong – not only here, but throughout the division.

“Of course people are becoming more concerned, especially with their financial position in mind, but we are prepared for what is to come.

“The numbers crossing the pickets are becoming fewer every time – last time we had 12 out of 850. Now I would be surprised if we got ten. Support is definitely growing as the strikes become more serious.

“The propaganda that Royal Mail is coming out with is frustrating – when they say 100 percent didn’t strike, they neglect to mention that it is only one postie in one rural office in the middle of nowhere!

“This is highly misleading to CWU members, so its important we get as much public, political and media coverage as possible, so we can challenge these lies.”

Richard Batt, the CWU sub rep, said, “The attitude line managers have towards us is totally false. Sometimes in the mornings they insist on a ‘huddle’ to start the day – ultimately though they’re all too willing to stab you in the back.

“It’s the management that make our jobs stressful by doing things that go against anyone’s common sense. They lack people skills – they don’t treat us with any respect.”

Estelle Cooch


Plymouth

There was a lively picket of up to 200 people at Plymouth mail centre on Wednesday evening. There was a good spirit, but much more anger than before, especially over the pensions issue.

Managers arriving in their own cars, or arriving and leaving in lorries were stopped, and asked to sign a petition in support of the strike and contribute to the hardship fund. The bucket was shaken under their noses and many contributed.

There was a major argument in the evening with the Area Distribution manager. Pickets were stopping cars leaving the site, as workers were finishing their shifts, meaning that two articulated rigs were unable to make the turn and enter the site. The manager was forced to back down and wait for the cars to leave.

There was a small picket at the MDEC (Manual Data Entry Centre) on Thursday morning that was buoyed up by a visit from members of the PCS, Unison, NUJ and NUS unions.

There are still well below 50 percent people working, though a small number of CWU members went in.

These are very low paid workers, many part time, and say they cannot afford to lose pay. There was shock and horror over a Plymouth manager who, while driving a Royal Mail articulated lorry, was involved in an accident in which another motorist died.

Dave Franklin


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