Around 600 postal workers and their supporters marched on Labour’s conference on Monday to demand that the government back off from its attack on a public postal service and those who work in it.
As the noisy and vibrant march swept up to the conference hall, a section of CWU union members burst into a song of “Are you Tories in disguise?” and this was enthusiastically taken up by large parts of the demonstration.
Workers demonstrated to defend pensions, stop mail centre closures and maintain the post office network. People were cheered that Allan Leighton, Royal Mail’s chair, is to leave next year.
Workers had come from all over Britain, from Edinburgh to Exeter, to be on the demo and there were 24 CWU banners there. A group of GMB union members from the Remploy factories also took part.
At the pre-march rally, Dave Ward, the CWU deputy general secretary (postal), told protesters, “Even the most loyal Labour supporter must realise 100 percent that the policies of New Labour have made the industry a disaster zone.”
The union is now considering its response to the government’s assaults, and it is committed to national strike ballot unless there is a transformation in policy.
The ballot needs to be turned into reality.