Socialist Worker

Plymouth post workers victory

Issue No. 2187

A CWU member at the West Park Delivery Office in Plymouth has written an inspiring report on how they won the reinstatement of their union rep.

“Last October we were due to take our third day of local strike action. Relations with management were tense.

“Our union rep, Alastair Sinclair, had earlier in the week been called to a dismissal interview based on his attendance—he had taken eight days sick in nine years.

“After about ten minutes on my sorting frame the buzz came around that Royal Mail had sacked our rep. At first there was a feeling of complete disbelief.

“In perhaps the most unified moment I have seen in my 29 years in Royal Mail, almost as one the whole office marched out the door.

“We were out because Royal Mail had taken a cheap shot at our rep. We were out because we knew Alastair could have sold us out, called off our local strike and protected himself—but he chose to put us first.

“We were out defending our friend and we were out because we knew if Royal Mail were able to sack our rep with no comeback then none of us were safe.

“Soon after branch reps arrived as did Chris Webb, our divisional rep. There and then we gave our branch a mandate for more strike action.

“We sent a petition to Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier and the regional manager telling them more strike action would take place if justice wasn’t done.

“We also took more local and national strike action.

“Coming into the last week before Christmas was the most intense time that I have ever known. Then I was sat at home on 23 December and I got the following text from a colleague: ‘Justice is done. Ali Sinclair is back’.

“The next day the atmosphere in the office was electric. Management were very low profile, while banter, cheering and chanting took place all morning.

“In between Christmas and New Year Alastair was returned to work. We had won.

“If your office or workplace ever faces the same then you must stand and fight. I am proud to think that I played a tiny part in a piece of history.

“West Park DO will never be the same. Galvanised by victory and inspired by the fact that we took them on and won. Never, ever has going to work felt so damned good.”

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Article information

Tue 2 Feb 2010, 19:19 GMT
Issue No. 2187
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