Socialist Worker

Solidarity grows for the post dispute

by Chris Bambery
Issue No. 2174

Solidarity is the key to victory for the post strike – and everyone, everywhere can do something to support the workers.

Already, strike support groups are taking root. Here are just a few examples of the wave of solidarity sweeping the country.

Glasgow

More than 50 activists came to the launch meeting of Glasgow’s post support group.

Julie, a Glasgow university student, was there. She said, “Tam, a CWU delivery rep, brilliantly explained what the strike is about.

“The meeting collected more than £130, and initiated a support network across the West of Scotland.

One pensioner activist explained, “A run-down post service would be a blow for pensioners who rely on it.

“I want to wish the posties every success – they’re fighting for us all.”

On Saturday, a solidarity stall collected over £50.

Among those stopping were ex-miners, who said that they knew what it was like to face a government-backed strike-breaking operation.

London

The Waltham Forest support group in north east London got off to a flying start last week with more than 20 people attending its first meeting.

It brought together local trade unionists from the CWU union with activists from the PCS, Unite, NUT, UCU, NUJ and GMB unions, and the trades council.

Some £65 was collected, and collection sheets were distributed to everyone.

Tony reports, “The meeting was both practical and political, with discussion of how the strike can win and how it fits into the wider picture of attacks on the public sector and the unions.

“A letter is being written for the local newspaper, which we plan to get local trade unionists to sign, and a collection is planned at Walthamstow Central station.

“It was agreed to meet again in two weeks’ time to organise further solidarity.”

Edinburgh

The trades council and local CWU has initiated a support group.

And at Edinburgh University, Socialist Workers Party and Labour Party members are organising a solidarity meeting with CWU and UCU union speakers.

Socialist Worker sellers collected over £100 for the post strikers last Saturday.

Strathclyde

Students at Strathclyde University have produced a leaflet explaining why students should not sign up to work as strike-breaking “temps” for Royal Mail.

Sean explains, “They’ll focus on students for the supposed Christmas work.

“We’ve had leaflets written up explaining why students should support the strikes and not be used as scabs.

“And we’ve invited a postal worker to come to the university and explain their case to students.”

Plymouth

The Land Registry branch of the PCS civil service workers’ union in Plymouth voted to donate £25 – the maximum it is allowed to give – to the post strikers.

“We’ll be emailing every member asking them to give”, says Dave, a union activist.

“People see it as part of a wider attack on the public sector, with postal workers facing the similar threat of privatisation to us.”

Ipswich

Activists in Ipswich are planning a strike support meeting this week.

Local activist John says, “I talked to the local CWU about setting up a support group to fight Royal Mail’s propaganda and build solidarity.

“In just three hours we’d contacted UCU activists at Suffolk New College, who we met when they were on strike two weeks ago, PCS reps we met during their 2007 strikes, as well as NUT and Unite union activists, and students.”

Yorkshire

A post worker in West Yorkshire spent Sunday afternoon meeting a leading activist in the NUJ journalist’s union – and they are planning post workers’ support groups across the region.

The post worker said, “We have started to organise and build support groups in Halifax and the Upper Calder Valley – Hebden Bridge and Todmorden.

“Sometime later this week a group will be set up in Huddersfield. I hope to see one set up in Bradford , and maybe Keighley as well.”

Bristol

Around 35 people came to the launch meeting of the Bristol support group.

Linda, from the local Socialist Workers Party, took part. “There were people there from the CWU, PCS, FBU, UCU and NUT unions,” she said. A local march was called and action planned at the Severn Beach strike-breaking depot.

“We produced workplace collection sheets which are being distributed – and we’ll be going down to the picket lines.”

Send us your reports and photos of the dispute and solidarity from other workers to reports@socialistworker.co.uk


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