Socialist Worker

Unofficial action by post workers forces Royal Mail bosses back in Bridgwater

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2479

Post workers on unofficial strike on Wednesday of this week

Post workers on unofficial strike on Wednesday of this week (Pic: Jana Branecka)


Postal workers in Bridgwater, Somerset, have won concessions from management after staging a wildcat strike.

The CWU union members walked out without an official ballot yesterday, Wednesday, in defence of disabled worker Andrew Mootoo.

Andrew was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis some 18 months ago and has been on sick leave since.

CWU officials say that Royal Mail bosses had refused to help Andrew get back to work. Instead they kept him on sick leave for so long that his pay was stopped.

Workers had decided this morning, Thursday, to stay out on strike for a second day. They were determined to continue despite Royal Mail bringing in some 70 managers from across Britain to break the action.

Workers ended the walkout after management promised to negotiate seriously about getting Andrew back to work.

Dave Chapple, CWU rep at Bridgwater, told Socialist Worker, “Everyone is over the moon. Morale is sky high.

“We expect Royal Mail to take the question of getting Andrew Mootoo back to work seriously.”

Royal Mail management have said they will investigate Dave’s role in the walkout. But Dave says the CWU is prepared to defend him should management take disciplinary action against him.

The walkout follows another wildcat strike at two other delivery offices in nearby Plymouth last month. Then postal workers walked out against the use of agency workers, forcing bosses to quickly back down.

The walkouts show that it is possible to defy anti trade union laws – and that unofficial action gets results.


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