Socialist Worker

Solidarity with post workers: Students with cakes lift spirits on picket line

Issue No. 2173

Post workers’ picket lines were buoyed this week by fellow trade unionists bringing solidarity collections – and students who had come bearing cakes.

Students from the London School of Economics baked the treats for pickets at London’s giant Mount Pleasant mail centre on Friday of last week.

“It was great to get the support,” said Merlin Reader, a senior union rep at the office.

“I’m sure that the people who came to our picket lines are the tip of the iceberg.

“After taking 15 days of action I think it’s vital that we start going out with the collection buckets – hopefully our supporters will join in.”

East London teacher Miriam Scharf collected £72 at her school and took it to her local post delivery office.

Jim Mann, the union rep there, told Socialist Worker that every donation makes a big difference.

“We’ve got people here who are really suffering financially,” he said. “And in the last week the media, with their lies about lazy post workers, have been terrible.

“So imagine what it’s like when someone you don’t even know comes to your office with a collection – it’s fantastic.

“All workers are under attack at the moment. It just happens that we are in the front line.

“I think it’s important that every trade unionist makes backing the postal workers a priority. After all, it could be you next.”

Students in Glasgow decided that they would start collecting for the workers even before strikes there had begun.

“Me and another student from the university collected £25 in half an hour at a Glasgow council office last week,” said student Gavin.

“The workers there were quite impressed that students would be out collecting for strikers.

“We explained that the only way to defend education and fight for a better deal for students is if we unite with others who are fighting back.

“We’ve done other collections too – we plan to deliver the whole lot to the first picket line of the national strike.”

Postal workers in parts of the country that have not seen industrial action so far have also been raising solidarity for those that have.

“My branch unanimously decided to send £4,000 to London and £1,000 to strikers in the north east of England,” said Simon Midgely, a senior rep from Bradford.

“Our feeling is that they have been carrying this dispute on their own, and that we should show our appreciation.”

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