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A day in the life of a post support group

This article is over 12 years, 9 months old
Activists are setting up post strike support groups across the country to help co-ordinate solidarity with the postal workers’ fight. Socialist Worker visited a group in Brent organised by the trades council, the CWU union and local campaigner
Issue 2176

About 20 post strike supporters came together in Brent trades hall in West London last night to prepare for the week ahead.

The meeting opened with Area CWU rep Tony Davies reporting on the state of the strike and negotiations with management. “We’re all ready for the strikes on Friday and Monday,” he said.

“But we’re getting no information. The executive of the union are sworn to secrecy. Meanwhile the managers’ bullying goes on every day.”

So the group felt it was vital to keep organising solidarity for the strikes.

“I think the strike will go on and on,” said Tony, “but this weekend is a crunch weekend.”

With that in mind, the local trade unionists, socialists, young people, pensioners and post workers focused on practical support.

People took leaflets to distribute and discussed where the best place to do a public collection would be.

Suggestions from the floor included the local tube station, supermarkets, and even a football match. People settled on Saturday at 2pm in the biggest shopping street in the area – Kilburn High Road.

Tony spoke of the importance of collections. “The hardship fund is helping a number of people now,” he said.

“It’s so nice to be able to hand over cheques to people who need it. And that’s down to people like you raising money.”

There were donations on the table from workers at Cricklewood bus garage and a collection outside Golders Green tube station, and many added to the pile after the meeting.

One supporter had compiled information for those suffering financial hardship after striking for up to 20 days. She reassured workers about how they could cope with bills they can’t afford to pay or threats to repossess their homes.

And Billy, a young worker who has been visiting picket lines since the start of the strikes, talked about the importance of mass picketing.

He said, “Everyone from here who can should get down and help picket at Stonebridge Park – it’s one of the biggest network hubs in the country.”

Colin, one of the post workers who came, said, “The bullying and harassment from management is intensifying. The managers go for me all day at work and I’m knackered. But the support here is great.”

After the meeting he shook hands with everyone in the room and said to each, “Thank you for your support.”

This was the second Wednesday that the group has come together. It resolved to go on meeting once a week from now on, at 7pm in the trades hall – and produce leaflets advertising the time and place, together with a list of reasons to support the strike.

Demonstrate tomorrow, Friday 6 November, 8.30am, in support of the post workers. Royal Mail West End Delivery Office 35-50, Rathbone Place, London W1T 1JN. Nearest tube Tottenham Court Road. Called by London CWU and All London Support Group

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