The mood at the CWU union conference in Bournemouth was lifted when delegates voted unanimously to support the call for a general strike. This makes it the fifth union to do so.
Paul Moffat moved the motion, saying, “We call on the TUC to coordinate a 24-hour general strike against the cuts. Take this government on and break it before we have absolutely nothing left.”
Suzanne Hart, from South West and Thames Valley, said, “The government’s cuts do nothing but widen the gap between middle and working class kids.”
Lee Barron, West Midlands regional secretary, said that every rep who calls on their members not to cross a picket line is breaking the law. He added, “It’s a simple principle. We’d rather break the law than break their pickets.”
Tony Kearns for the executive said, “The national executive was unanimous in supporting this motion. You carry this and we will take the message to the TUC.”
The debate closed Monday morning’s session and turned around the atmosphere, which had been relatively subdued in the light of continuing attempts to privatise the Post Office and a fall in membership.
The previous day had seen a Special Rules Conference, which passed the executive’s cost-cutting plan.
This means that the union will now hold postal industry conferences on alternating years rather than annually, with smaller ad hoc national briefings being held in between.