Socialist Worker

Three strikes and the postal workers are out

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2361

Workers on the picket line in Bridgwater

Workers on the picket line in Bridgwater (Pic: Dave Smith)

Postal workers in Bridgwater, Somerset, struck for the second time in a week last Saturday. 

Over 100 workers who are members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) walked out of work at the delivery office there. 

Dave Chapple, CWU shop steward, told Socialist Worker, “The strike was solid. It was one of the best we’ve ever had.”

The strike was over an ongoing dispute about job cuts and allegations of bullying. But managers have raised the stakes.

Workers are angry that managers have been scabbing. 

Bosses have also driven scabs through the picket lines in blacked out minibuses.

On Wednesday the union was set to meet bosses in London to discuss the future of the dispute.

Many post workers are furious that Royal Mail has exonerated a manager who was accused of intercepting and opening a member’s mail.

“Members are outraged,” said Dave. “If necessary the dispute will be stepped up. 

“We’re looking to go out over three days next week. If it’s necessary, we’re going to escalate.”

The strike that was due to take place on Saturday of this week has been called off while members plan next week’s round of strikes. 

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Unofficial walkout in Peterborough and Plymouth

Some 170 post workers in Peterborough have walked out on unofficial strike.

Members of the CWU at the Werrington office in Peterborough downed tools on Friday of last week after a union rep was suspended.

The strike continued over the weekend as strikers refused to return to work until management restore the suspended rep.

Amanda Hill, secretary of CWU’s Eastern no.5 branch, spoke to Socialist Worker just before addressing a strikers’ meeting. “We’re about to tell members that the management aren’t budging,” she said. “Our position is we’re prepared to negotiate, but not back down.

“We want to get the rep back to work.” Reps were still meeting with managers to discuss the dispute as Socialist Worker went to press. 

It appears no mail has been moved to other offices. 

But the union has told members in the area to alert them if bosses try to move Peterborough’s mail to their office. No postal worker should handle Peterborough’s mail.

And 100 post workers walked out at North Central Delivery Office in Plymouth on Thursday of last week.

The CWU said that workers are being “intolerably bullied and harassed” by bosses. 

The union has also said it will ballot members for industrial action. 

Workers at the delivery office walked out in June over bullying.

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Article information

Tue 9 Jul 2013, 18:32 BST
Issue No. 2361
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