Socialist Worker

Postal workers to strike over changes in work practices

Issue No. 2026

Postal workers in Newark, Nottinghamshire, and Manvers, South Yorkshire were to strike for 24 hours this week over changes in work practices without consultation.

These are the first actions resulting from a series of local disputes across Britain.

Other offices holding strike ballots include Antrim in Northern Ireland, Mansfield and four areas in and around Portsmouth, Coventry, Stoke, Bridgwater in Somerset and Wembley in north London.

Brighton & Hove was ready to ballot but has won major concessions from management.

At all these offices managers are either imposing unagreed savings, changing a full-time job to part-time when it falls vacant, or both.

A strike ballot process has also started at Exeter mail centre, site of a recent big unofficial strike, over attacks on the union. The situation is similar to the one in February this year that eventually saw 60 offices preparing to ballot for strikes against imposed cuts and attacks on full-time jobs.

That wave of resistance was broken by the national “efficiencies deal” which was supposed to end Royal Mail’s attacks.

The CWU union announced that “an assurance has been achieved that Royal Mail will not seek to replace full-time jobs with part-time jobs”.

But this is precisely what is now happening.

The union’s postal executive will consider a national strike ballot in two weeks if management fails to deal with the issue in these individual offices and to give an assurance as to future conduct.

Postal workers must push for action in the ballots, but a host of issues are stacking up where national action is possible and may soon become a necessity.

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Article information

Sat 11 Nov 2006, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2026
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