Postal workers at the Burslem delivery office in Stoke-on-Trent have responded to a long running campaign of management bullying by voting for strikes over the Christmas period.
A dozen workers, including many union reps, have been sacked or suspended by bosses who are attempting to smash the union.
Bosses accuse the union of “intimidation”, but workers at the office have told Socialist Worker that it is the bosses who are doing the intimidating.
Last week anger at management led to a 78 percent vote for strike action.
The CWU has announced strikes that will run from Tuesday of next week until Christmas, and then from 27 December to New Year.
“Management’s campaign against the union at Burslem is unbelievable – they are attempting to drive the CWU out of the office,” Lee Baron, the CWU’s Midlands regional secretary, told Socialist Worker.
“Not only have we had disciplinary action against postal workers that breaks all agreements between the union and Royal Mail, but the CWU has also been banned from meeting at the office, and the union room has been closed down.
“Management has even taken union and personally owned items from the union room and refused to return them.
“Workers at Burslem feel absolutely outraged – and all the attempts to intimidate us are backfiring.”
In the past Royal Mail has bussed in dozens of managers from across Britain to work at the Burslem office during local strike action. Lee expects that to be repeated in the forthcoming strikes.
“We know that this is not going to be a short strike, and that what happens at Burslem will have implications for the CWU everywhere else. That’s why I think everyone needs to get behind this battle.”
The union has launched a financial appeal and is also planning a major demonstration in Stoke in the new year.
“To sustain the action we are going to need a flood of donations from CWU branches and other trade unionists,” says Lee. “Solidarity is going to be critical.”
Rush donations and messages of support to the CWU Midlands region, 47 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3TH. Phone the Midland No.7 branch on 01782 285 833