Postal workers in seven mail centres have voted to take one-day strikes in the run-up to Christmas.
The strikes – at Oxford, Milton Keynes, Crewe, Merseyside, Bolton, Stockport and Coventry – are in response to Royal Mail's plans to close several mail centres across Britain. Many ballots were held in other mail centres and were very narrowly lost.
Royal Mail's attacks have led to both fear and anger among workers. 'Everyone is on tenterhooks about what the future holds,' Mark Walsh, CWU Merseyside branch secretary, told Socialist Worker.
'Royal Mail are threatening to close our centre and move the work to Warrington – with no guarantees about what that will mean for jobs or conditions. We fought a similar threat 12 years ago. We have to keep fighting to keep a mail centre in Liverpool.'
The scale of Royal Mail's attacks put thousands of jobs at risk – and would also have an impact on conditions, union organisation and the quality of the postal service. Every worker should support these strikes in defence of crucial public services.
Post workers in mail centres that do not take action should make sure that, if Royal Mail tries to sabotage the action by moving mail to different centres, that they refuse to handle it. Further, broader and more coordinated action will be needed in the future to defeat these attacks.
Over 80 Royal Mail drivers in Stoke-on-Trent are threatening to strike over Christmas against feared job cuts. Post workers in Bridgwater, Somerset, have voted by 49 votes to 25 for strike action in the run-up to Christmas, in protest at Royal Mail replacing full-time jobs with part-time ones.
Post workers at Bristol NDO have won their dispute over hours. Royal Mail had unilaterally introduced bag carrying duties for workers on 20-hour a week part-time contracts and said they were 'non-negotiable'. The threat of strike action forced Royal Mail to back down.