The postal workers’ CWU union has signalled its intention to fight against attacks on its activists by calling a demonstration in Bristol, where three workers have been unfairly sacked for alleged incidents during last year’s national dispute.
The protest is set for Monday 4 August and could become a focus for all branches where members have faced management bullying for carrying out their union’s policy.
Two of the “Bristol 3”, Colin Tucker and Kay Gibbs, were sacked after Royal Mail claimed they had banged on the side of a company van crossing their picket line.
Managers said they had CCTV evidence that would prove this, but the CWU says that footage clears those who have been sacked.
Paula Franklin was dismissed for a posting about the strike on a website popular with CWU activists. Paula is the only person who has been sacked for contributing.
The CWU is now taking all three cases to Employment Tribunal and says that, unless management abide by the tribunal’s decision, it will escalate industrial action.
Local firefighter Jaz Thomas is part of the reconvened Bristol postal workers’ support group. He says, “At our meeting earlier this month there were reps from the FBU, NUT, Unite (health and engineering) and CWU (telecoms and post) unions.
“We made a plan to help build for the rally in August, with the first action being a well attended gate meeting at the SE delivery office on Monday of last week.”
Meanwhile in Leicestershire around 25 postal workers joined many others on a protest outside Leicester North delivery office demanding the reinstatement of Simon Furze, another sacked CWU rep.
Senior management were called into the office early in an attempt to intimidate the postal workers taking part.
One postal worker told Socialist Worker, “They thought that by sacking Simon they’d be able to smash the union. We’ll now show them that we’re stronger than ever.” Another added, “We’ll be protesting every month until they reinstate Simon.”
Royal Mail sacked Simon in June, claiming that he had defrauded the company and wilfully delayed mail.
The union is appealing against the sacking.
It is vital that the CWU prepares a national plan to defend all its activists from management attack, particularly in the build up to a national strike ballot over the attacks on pensions and office closures.
Send messages of solidarity to Bristol CWU, 20 Church Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol BS5 9JA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Send messages of solidarity for Simon Furze to CWU Leicestershire branch, 1 New Street, Leicester LE1 5NR. Email email@example.com