Socialist Worker

New mood of resistance among postal workers

Issue No. 1672

There is a new mood of resistance in the Post Office, with the level of struggle rising. Many of the disputes are centred on the actions of bullying managers. Last week there were at least six unofficial strikes - and workers won clearly in most of them.

  • NORTH LONDON: Around 900 workers at the NDO sorting office walked out on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week. A worker at the office was sacked by a manager he had clashed with for personal reasons. When the worker failed to clear a collection box on time, he was reported for the sackable offence of 'wilful delay'. As news spread that the worker's appeal against the sacking had confirmed the verdict, workers walked out. Dozens picketed the office on Wednesday and the entire operation halted. Management were under intense pressure and eventually conceded a deal which brings forward an industrial tribunal and agrees that the worker will be reinstated if the tribunal finds any element of unfairness in the sacking. Workers went back jubilant that they had defended a colleague - but also resolved that they will fight again if the final verdict does not return him to work.
  • OXFORDSHIRE: Fifty delivery workers at Bicester walked out last week after a worker was sacked because management did not believe he had gone off genuinely sick. Their colleagues at the Oxford Mailcentre also began to walk out, and management speedily conceded an early hearing of the case.
  • GLASGOW: Hundreds of postal workers in Glasgow were out last week. The strike began at the G51 delivery office in Govan when, workers claim, a manager threatened suspensions if changes in duties were not accepted. National union officials instantly repudiated the action after 50 delivery staff walked out at Govan. Over 50 drivers at the St Rollox sorting office then walked out when they heard they may be asked to move mail. Over 200 delivery staff at St Rollox also walked out. Union officials managed to contain the fire and push St Rollox into going back. After a week out on strike the Govan workers returned on Friday of last week following an agreement on the issue that started the fight.
  • DUNFERMLINE: About 140 workers walked out after a union rep was disciplined. A recent dispute about a sacking at Livingston saw victory after a mass walkout.
  • HIGH WYCOMBE: Some 200 postal workers walked out for two days on Monday and Wednesday of last week. The unofficial walkouts were sparked by anger at management's failure to fix a leaky gutter.
  • BOLTON: Streamline (bulk mail transport) drivers walked out last week.

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Article information

Sat 13 Nov 1999, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1672
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