Socialist Worker

Planned post walkout called off, but battle over bullying isn’t over in Bootle

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2688

Post workers in Bootle during an unofficial walkout last year

Post workers in Bootle during an unofficial walkout last year (Pic: John Carr)


Postal workers in Merseyside have called off a planned strike after bosses backed down in a dispute over victimisations.

CWU union members at the Bootle and Seaforth delivery office had been set to strike on Saturday of last week and Monday of this week.

Managers had hit union rep Chris Stott and 21 other workers with disciplinary charges—including two who were sacked—following an unofficial walkout last year.

But after bosses dropped the charges against Stott—and made concessions over the 21 other cases—the action was called off.

Workers walked out last October after a manager made alleged racist comments towards a Muslim worker.

The unofficial strike also spread to Warrington mail centre after drivers there were suspended for rightly refusing to cross picket lines at Bootle.

The action ended after bosses ran to the courts to get an injunction.

Offensive

They then launched a major offensive against the workers.

A statement between union officials and bosses says that if any of the 21 workers are dismissed they have the right to appeal, heard by a manager from outside Royal Mail.

This includes the two workers who have already been sacked.

But union members in Bootle also know the dispute isn’t over while the 21 still face disciplinary action.

Royal Mail’s top managers hope to make an example of workers in Bootle.

They want to stamp out the culture of solidarity that exists among CWU members of striking unofficially against bullying bosses.

That means the fight mustn’t end until all charges are dropped and the two sacked workers reinstated.


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