Around 100 strikers at Royal Mail’s Burslem office, who have been on strike since 18 December, last week agreed to a deal to end their dispute.
Bosses have been engaged in a ferocious attempt to break the postal workers’ CWU union at the office, which is regarded as one of the best unionised in Britain.
Royal Mail suspended 12 workers, including all three union reps, alleging that they bullied fellow workers into not doing overtime.
The agreed deal accepts a key union demand that there be an “independent element” to all appeals against the disciplinary cases—normally only Royal Mail managers hear appeals by all except union reps.
However, most of those who have been suspended will remain so until the outcome of their appeal.
Royal Mail has also conceded that there will be no reduction in annual leave as a result of the strike. There will also be a review into industrial relations at the office, with a guarantee that there are to be no further cases against postal workers as a result of the dispute.
The delivery office manager at the centre of the dispute is no longer working at the Burslem office. Despite the deal being recommended by both the CWU’s deputy general secretary, and the 12 suspended workers, a sizable minority of the strikers voted against ending the strike until all workers were returned to work at Burslem.
Lee Barron, the CWU’s Midlands regional secretary, told Socialist Worker, “The campaign for justice at Burslem goes on, and we are continuing our financial appeal.
“Workers went back on the basis of progress made so far, but the issue is not yet settled. We also want to show solidarity with other areas where attacks are happening.
“Royal Mail is trying to break this union unit by unit.”
Send donations and messages of support c/o Lee Barron, CWU Midlands regional secretary, 46-48 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org