Socialist Worker

Postal workers in London start three-day strike

by Yuri Prasad
Issue No. 2159

BBQ on the N1 picket line (Pic: Socialist Worker)

BBQ on the N1 picket line (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Postal workers from across London began three days of strike action today. The action which involves some 11,000 Royal Mail employees has brought postal services in the capital to a halt.

Royal mail rushed to the High Court yesterday in a desperate effort to halt the strikes. But they lost, with the judge even telling management they were totally wrong, awarding costs to the union, and ruling out an appeal.

Recent successful unofficial strikes, such as those that hit the construction industry, may well have persuaded the judge that it is not always a good idea to try to stop action on a trumped-up excuse. The anti-union laws are powerless if workers keep defying them.

Postal workers on picket lines across London this morning were buoyed by the news of the legal victory and most union reps report that their strike is “absolutely solid”.

Dave Morrison, a CWU union rep from the N1 sorting office in north London, told Socialist Worker that despite management’s attempts to slash pay and conditions the mood of his members is determined.

“When we’re inside that building it’s terrible,” he said pointing his sorting office. “But the feeling out here on the picket lines is great.

“Bosses here are attempting to divide and rule the workforce and are planning new duties that will mean that we’ll be working for longer on Saturdays – which messes up our family lives – and for less pay.

“But there’s no way we’re putting up with it. We’re going to be striking on Monday morning too.”

Union activists discussed the implications of the previous day’s legal battle on the picket lines. Many felt that if the strikes had been called off it would mean that effective “legal” trade unionism is over .

However, many also recognised that one of the reasons why the CWU is a powerful union is that the rank and file have, on many occasions, been prepared to take unofficial strike action.

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