Socialist Worker

Striking post workers march through London

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2362

Striking Post Office workers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in London

Striking Post Office workers at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in London (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Workers in 372 Crown Post Offices (CPOs) struck today, Wednesday, over plans to cut the crown network by a fifth and slash 800 jobs.

The workers are members of the CWU union, which represents 4,000 workers in CPOs.

This is workers’ eighth strike. They are fighting plans to sell off or close CPOs.

Around 50 strikers gathered outside Broadway post office near St James's Park tube station in London at noon. They marched to Portcullis House for a parliamentary briefing.

Liam Murphy had travelled down from Glasgow with other CWU members. He told Socialist Worker, “It’s important for us to be here. We only have 25 Crown Post Offices in Scotland and they plan to franchise five, which will result in the loss of about 80 jobs.

“One of those is in Stornoway. There’s no other work on the island for those workers to go to.

“The money is there. The Post Office got £1.3 billion in funding from the government. They're not spending it to improve the service or investing in people, they are treating workers like shit.

“I’m 38 years in the job. People who work in the post work a long time because they care about the service. To treat them like this is a disgrace, it’s an insult.”

Cars beeped in support as strikers and supporters marched to chants of “Save the Post Office!”

CWU general secretary Billy Hayes, assistant secretary Dave Ward and president Jane Loftus addressed the parliamentary hearing. Many MPs spoke and emphasised the need to save offices that are at the heart of many poor areas.

Brian Scott, assistant national secretary of the Unite union, said that Unite would seek to ballot members who are managers in post offices.

Closing the rally Dave Ward said, “The strike today shows there is a fightback”.

He said that the dispute in the post office would be linked with the privatisation of Royal Mail adding, “We are not going to let you down.”


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News
Wed 17 Jul 2013, 17:13 BST
Issue No. 2362
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