WHAT DO you get for bravely standing up to a bullying gang which management has failed to take action against? If you are Oxford postal workers then your bosses threaten you with 'punitive action'.
The Oxford workers walked out in the middle of last week because they were not prepared to accept a regime of intimidation and harassment. Royal Mail knows there is a genuine problem which needs investigating. But managers don't want anyone to learn the lesson that stopping work is the way to get results when your company won't see reason.
So 'caring' Royal Mail is insisting that it has the right to punish those who have walked out. That is why as Socialist Worker went to press other postal workers in other parts of Britain were discussing what action they should take in solidarity with Oxford. 'We have to stick together against a gang which is making the workplace hell. It's a basic safety issue which anyone ought to be able to stop work over,' says a London union rep.
Bob Cullen, the lead negotiator for the Oxford CWU union, told Socialist Worker, 'We tried every other method-complaints, grievances, discussions and even a short stoppage. But management didn't move. So we had to stop work. They have no right to punish us.'
In too many workplaces the drive for 'flexibility' and harder and faster work is linked to bullying by management. The Oxford workers have shown how to fight back and deserve everyone's support.