Socialist Worker

Unofficial post walkout in Merseyside in anti-racist solidarity with Muslim worker

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2675

Outside the office on Thursday morning

Outside the office on Thursday morning (Pic: John Carr)


Postal workers in Merseyside walked out on unofficial strike on Wednesday over claims a manager made a racist comment to a Muslim worker.

It was a great display of anti-racist solidarity.

CWU union members at the Bootle and Seaforth delivery office set up a picket line outside their site on Trinity Industrial Estate.

It followed an incident when a manager asked an alleged racist question to the postman.

According to the Liverpool Echo newspaper, the post worker was said to be “very upset” over the incident.

His co-workers said he had gone home on compassionate leave.

One CWU member in the office told Socialist Worker, “We stand up for one another, that’s the rule here. We are not going to let managers use any sort of attacks to weaken us.

“There are people from different backgrounds here but we are all workers and trade union members and we know to stick together or we’re lost.

“I don’t want to go back working with a manager who stands accused of racism. Racism is something for trade unions to take up and oppose.”

Confidence

The unofficial action comes as CWU members across the country vote on whether to strike over Royal Mail plans to attack their conditions and slash jobs. The worker said the mood over the national ballot is giving post workers confidence.

“There a strong feeling in the branch at the moment because of the national strike ballot,” they said. “We’re all lining up to support a fight. I think that has helped us take action now.”

A CWU spokesperson said, “We are representing our member as we do in any situation like this.”

Dave Ward, the union’s general secretary, said that the national campaign to win a strike vote against Royal Mail attacks “has made me prouder than ever to lead the union”.

“When you think that couldn’t be topped, an office have walked after a manager made an allegedly racist comment,” he said.

“A new era of trade unionism is being born and we stand at the forefront of it.”

Workers continued the strike on Thursday morning, demanding a satisfactory resolution.

They have given a lesson on how to bring anti-racism into the workplace, and how anti-racism is crucial to working class unity.


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