THOUSANDS OF postal workers across London are to vote on official strikes as management tries to cut costs over Christmas. The ballots will include almost all delivery workers and some drivers in the big distribution centres. The issues vary in different areas. They include:
The amount of overtime workers will be guaranteed.
The attempt by some managers to get all the work out in one delivery ('once over the ground').
The conditions under which workers will be required to work.
Many workers are angry that CWU union headquarters officials have agreed a national deal over Christmas arrangements which concedes over some of these issues. 'We have the bizarre situation where the national union has now been forced to sanction official strike ballots in protest at arrangements when they themselves have given so much away,' a London CWU member told Socialist Worker. 'It feels like it could be war unless management back off.' Strikes could begin in the middle of December.
Postal workers at two offices in north west England took action last week in protest at local Christmas arrangements. Around 40 workers at Newton-le-Willows stopped unofficially on Friday of last week to demand more guaranteed overtime. 'Unless you are prepared to stand up and fight you get pushed around over Christmas by a management that wants to get the hardest work out of you with the lowest cost,' one of the strikers told Socialist Worker. Some 100 staff protested for around 45 minutes at Runcorn about the way part time staff were to be treated.