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Wolverhampton postal workers stand up against racism

Issue No. 2002

Wolverhampton postal workers walked out last week because of their anger at racism.

Vera Kelsey, branch secretary of Wolverhampton CWU, told Socialist Worker, “A dispute arose recently after a manager was alleged to have referred to a worker as a ‘Paki’.

“The workforce wanted action such as the manager being suspended or moved, but several days later they did not believe enough had happened.

“So on Tuesday of last week up to 100 workers on the late shift at the Sun Street centre stopped work.

“This walkout was not encouraged or organised by the union, it was spontaneous.

“After one shift the strike ended. Management has set up an investigation process.

“Because of the seriousness of the matter, if there is not a proper outcome, the union may launch a strike ballot.”

A Wolverhampton CWU member added, “We weren’t prepared to let racism exist in this office.

“There’s a tradition of taking action over racism.

“In October 2003 there was a much bigger walkout which humbled management.

“We haven’t quite done that, but our action has highlighted the way management acts and shown that CWU members have no truck with racism.

“The walkout this time involved about ten white workers, ten black workers and the rest were Asian. This shows unity and we are proud of what happened.”

Management’s response was to stop pay for those who struck, take facility time away from two reps for 28 days (except for personal cases) and bar the strikers from any additional overtime that comes into the office for a week.

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Tue 23 May 2006, 17:51 BST
Issue No. 2002
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