The fourth solid postal strike brought services to a halt across the country last week. Socialist Worker received reports from the picket lines.
Around 30 trade unionists attended a lively picket line at Cambridge mail centre on Tuesday of last week.
The CWU organised a rally with speakers from the Unison and PCS unions, Cambridge Trades Council, Long Road Sixth Form College and Respect. All had the same message – the post workers are leading the fight against a wholesale attack on public services.
Around 20 pickets were out at 6am at the East London mail centre at Bow Locks on Tuesday. “We’ll need to assess how effective the functional strikes have been,” said a CWU union rep. “If there is no movement from the bosses then we will have to consider further and more sustained strikes.”
Stuart Johnson said, “We are 100 percent solid in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire. We will not back down from this dispute until a fair and workable agreement has been voted on and accepted by the members.”
Stephen Sinclair, a CWU member in Chester, reported an upbeat mood there: “Another day on the picket line – and the strikers’ morale is unbroken.”
Jon Gamble reports, “Delegates from Watford & District Trades Council joined CWU No 1 branch pickets. The strike was well supported – even the sun came out!”
Simon Guy said, “There were 22 pickets at the Bristol delivery office on Thursday morning of last week.
“The workers were lifted by a 200-strong demonstration of postal workers and supporters that marched through Bristol on Tuesday. Local branches of other trade unions were also there in full support.”
Dave Barnes said, “Only two scabs reported in for work on Thursday at Luton depot. Kelvin Hopkins, the MP for Luton North, attended a CWU meeting on Wednesday.”
There were 22 on the picket line in Preston. A worker told Socialist Worker, “There’s a real sense that what we’re going through now is very similar to Margaret Thatcher’s days.
“I want to know what minister Alan Johnson has got to say about this. We’ve had no statement from him at all – and he used to be one of us.”
Ray Holmes, Respect councillor in Bolsover, Derbyshire, took solidarity to the picket line there. He said, “Post workers at Bolsover sorting depot are confident of winning the dispute. They can already report that the backlog is growing and now demand that other public sector workers get on board.”
Pickets said Brick Knoll Park sorting office in St Albans in Hertfordshire is “still solid and still steadfast”.
“The strike is beginning to bite now,” said one picket. “There’s two or three days backlog in there. The management is getting pissed off now as well.”
John P Johnston said, “I am a member of the National Pensioners’ Convention and got a warm reception when I attended the delivery office picket line at Burnley in Lancashire.”
There were around ten pickets at Acton in West London, with the same number at Chiswick and Ealing, where a Unison union rep presented a £100 donation to the picket line from his branch.
Mitchell Morris, the rep at Acton, said, “The mood on the picket lines is as strong as it has ever been. The strikes have been a success, and we should continue with them.”
Chris Webb, CWU area processing rep for Plymouth and Cornwall, said, “For the fourth consecutive time the whole mail centre grinded to a complete halt as CWU members came out support of their union.”
Another postal worker reports, “Frodsham, Runcorn, Widnes and Warrington are all 100 percent out again.”
Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures and reports. For more