Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Walkout at a delivery office

Issue No. 2582

CWU members at St Helens delivery office voting in the pensions dispuate

CWU members at St Helens delivery office voting in the pensions dispuate (Pic: DaveKennedy/Twitter)


Some 100 postal workers at a Royal Mail delivery office in St Helens, Merseyside, walked out unofficially for the second time in a month on Monday.

The workers walked out over workload and a dispute with management. A similar walkout took place two weeks ago after a worker was suspended.

One striker said, “All we want to do is do our jobs, but we have an unbelievable workload. There’s around 120 of us left after people have been suspended.”

The action comes amid talks between the workers’ CWU union and Royal Mail bosses in a national dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

The CWU called off a national two-day strike in October after the high court granted bosses an injunction forcing the union into a “mediation” process.

An external mediator was set to release their report of recommendations on Thursday. The CWU and Royal Mail will have a week after that to meet and give their response.

In a letter to CWU branches on Friday the union said, “This dispute is far from over, we will continue campaigning”.

The CWU must announce new strike dates as soon as mediation finishes unless there is a deal that:

  • Guarantees a pension scheme for all workers in the industry, not just those who’ve worked there the longest
  • Gives workers an above-inflation pay rise not linked to productivity deals
  • Guarantees that workers aren’t forced to change their hours to fit in with Royal Mail’s profit drive
  • Gives workers a shorter working week—without loss of pay

Lobby of Scottish parliament

Firefighters lobbied the Scottish parliament on Thursday over cuts. The last three years have seen over 700 jobs, £60 million and several fire stations disappear.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard urged for closer links between Scottish Labour and the trade union movement. FBU general secretary Matt Wrack condemned the right for praising firefighters but casting them as greedy when they fight.

The idea that the Tory budget meant an end to the pay cap was slammed.

It remains to be seen if anger will turn into action.


Nuclear strike

Over 3,000 workers were set to walk out for 24 hours at Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant on Wednesday of this week.

The GMB union members are fighting a pay increase of just 2 percent.

Around 60 firefighters also in GMB are demanding a pay increase above bosses’ offer of 1.5 percent.

A GMB organiser said, “Sellafield workers are angry when they see bosses given massive bonuses as rewards for failure.”


Stop and scrap Universal Credit

Around 60 protests were set to take place across Britain on Saturday over Universal Credit (UC).

Called by the Unite union’s Community section, they demand that UC’s rollout is paused and UC is “fixed”.

That’s Labour’s policy—and it doesn’t go far enough.

Disabled People Against Cuts (Dpac) has rightly campaigned for “stop and scrap”.

Socialists should support protests against UC—and bring to them the demand to “stop and scrap”.

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