POSTAL WORKERS at the Underwood Road depot in Paisley, near Glasgow, went back to work on Thursday of last week after a seven-day unofficial walkout succeeded in defending a suspended workmate. Tom McLeod was suspended because he returned deliveries at the end of his shift. Tom never works overtime, and was trying to get home to look after his two kids while his wife went to work.
So his workmates walked out on strike and set up a 24-hour picket line. A national CWU official came to Paisley to try and force the workers back to work. But it took a real struggle. On Monday night the postal workers held a mass meeting. Of the 200 workers at the depot, 198 were there.
There was a unanimous vote to stay out until Tom was reinstated. Royal Mail bosses were terrified of the strike spreading to other areas. Some post from Paisley was sent to other depots but workers in those depots refused to touch it. One worker said the atmosphere was electric in those depots.
After several mass meetings throughout the week, Royal Mail bosses caved in. Tom's charge was brought down to a less serious one, which means he will not be sacked. However, many workers thought he should have been cleared completely. Workers voted to go back to work on Thursday morning, but only by a very narrow majority.