The last day of the national postal strikes saw a fantastic spontaneous march by 100 postal workers through the centre of Ipswich chanting 'What do we want? Fair pay!When do we want it? Now!'. This was followed by a mass meeting of 300 posties to discuss how to take the campaign forward in Ipswich.
This follows a very solid four day strike by 1,100 postal workers in the Ipswich postcode area with just 71 scabs continuing to work. At Ipswich mail centre itself scab numbers have been well down on the previous round of strikes.
This is in part caused by the document issued by Royal Mail detailing total flexibility and attacks to the pension, but also by firmer and more determined action by local reps and pickets to win this dispute by making it difficult for people to cross picket lines.
Monday's strike saw four deliveries turned away including the weekly delivery of the canteen's food – management were so furious they came out to the picket line to complain. Even better, was the spectacle of seeing the driver who had came to pick up a skip deciding to respect the picket line and leaving the skip where it was!
Tuesday's mass meeting saw regional secretary Paul Moffat detailing the attacks on Royal Mail as part and parcel of Brown's neoliberal agenda and criticising the link with Labour. He was followed by Dennis King who spoke eloquently of the history of attacks on the conditions of postal workers and said how the Labour government was not representative of the Labour party.
The meeting ended with branch official Nigel Kent speaking passionately about the strike breaking role of scabs and the need to take some form of local campaigning action against the imposition of the new start times. He moved a motion that called for campaigning to be done locally (the form to be decided by the local executive).This was passed overwhelmingly with some half a dozen against.