This week postal workers have dealt Royal Mail bosses a massive blow with our two 48-hour strikes. The action was extremely solid across the country and management’s prediction that this strike would be the end of the union is now looking very foolish.
At offices everywhere the backlog of mail is piling up to the ceiling, just as we are about to enter the busiest time of the year.
The effectiveness of the strike is proof that we can win this battle to maintain the public service we provide, our jobs, pensions, terms and conditions, and pay.
We now have the opportunity to ram home our advantage and defeat Royal Mail’s plan to impose “total flexibility” on the workforce.
However our bosses – Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier – are not simply going to give in. They want a “life or death” struggle, in which either they or the CWU are driven out of Royal Mail.
And in this battle, they are backed all the way by the government that appointed them.
That is why Gordon Brown this week said the strike was “not something we can condone nor can we stand idly by and say it is an acceptable form of behaviour. I want these people back at work.”
But postal workers have allies too. Our allies are the millions of working people in Britain who know what it is to have the service you provide slashed by bosses who regard profit as the only measure of success.
They are all those who have had their pension rights threatened, and those who have been told they must take a below-inflation pay rise.
The success or failure of our dispute will have huge implications for all the other groups of workers who are preparing to fight over pay and job losses.
We must now call upon all our allies to stand alongside us. Every postal workers’ picket line would be boosted if they were joined by delegations of local trade unionists, complete with their banners.
We want local students and pensioners to join us too.
Collections in every union-organised workplace would an excellent way of generating a feeling of solidarity.
Together we can ensure that Brown won’t just bottle the election, he will bottle his attempt to bash public sector workers too.