A clear pattern is emerging of Royal Mail management attempting to use disciplinary procedures to attack CWU union reps.
Bosses hope this will disrupt the CWU’s programme of strike action, and, in particular, weaken the effectiveness of picketing.
In a number of areas, reps are being called into meetings with management on the day after strike action.
They are then told that they are being suspended following complaints by
staff who are choosing to join the bosses at work on strike days.
In Leicestershire a leading rep in a delivery office has been suspended for swearing at a scab who had attempted to drive his vehicle into the picket line.
The following day the rep was marched into his manager’s office and, when he refused to talk until a union rep had arrived, was summarily suspended.
Another rep at the office told Socialist Worker that the suspension had all the hallmarks of a stitch-up, and that managers are seeking out anti-union staff and asking them to make complaints.
Bosses hope that the suspensions that follow will cripple the union. In some cases they are trying to provoke unofficial walkouts.
The Leicester rep said, “Management are accusing the union of intimidating people into taking action, or into refusing to aid Royal Mail by ‘doing the job properly’. But they are the ones using intimidation tactics here.
“In my office, managers are quite happy to let scabs wander around the shop floor, waving their wage slips in the air and talking about what they are going to do with all the money they are earning.
“But if I left my board to remind someone that they should not carry a bag that weighs over 16 kilos on their walk, I would find myself on a charge.”