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Post activists discuss escalating the strike

This article is over 16 years, 9 months old
A group of Socialist Worker supporters in the CWU union met last weekend to discuss the way forward for the crucial dispute that postal workers’ are involved in.
Issue 2063

A group of Socialist Worker supporters in the CWU union met last weekend to discuss the way forward for the crucial dispute that postal workers’ are involved in.

They reported that around the country the strike is on the up. aThe strikes have clearly hit Royal Mail management hard.

There are over 200 million mail items snarled up across Britain. Every post worker can recount seeing mail piling up.

In north London, after years of telling workers to speed up, managers are taking on deliveries in an attempt to break the strike.

They are coming back to the depots with half the walk not done and the mail not delivered. Everyone agreed that the “do the job properly” campaign – where postal workers do not use their cars on deliveries, stick to their proper start and finish times, take their meal breaks, and have their bags weighed – is hitting management.

Gordon Brown’s ridiculous view that the victims of inflation are to be blamed for the existence of inflation means that the government has laid down a pay limit of around 2 percent in the public sector.

Nobody is to be allowed to breach it. What is becoming clear to workers is that Brown has told Royal Mail’s bosses not to make concessions.


There is an urgent need to step up the pressure. The post workers are in the frontline of the battles that all working people face. The last thing Brown wants is a defeat over public sector pay.

More and more groups of public sector workers are lining up to fight over pay.

The Socialist Worker supporters discussed passing motions telling their CWU union leaders to suspend money to the Labour Party during the dispute.

Many asked, why should the union be giving money to the party attacking it?

Post workers need to keep up the campaign to strike alongside other unions, and to get other unions to support the strike.

The discussion centred on where to go now with the dispute. Part of the task is making the strikes as effective as possible. But there is a real need to move forward to win the dispute.

One method is to increase the frequency of official strike days. But there are other ways to take on the bosses.

The bubbling up of unofficial action shows the depth of anger and the determination of post workers to fight – and a refusal to be bullied by the bosses.


The functional disputes have hurt management but they have created a problem where some workers, who are on strike another day, are asked to cross picket lines.

Rightly, many workers will refuse to do this.

In many places, management’s response to those who don’t cross picket lines will be to victimise them.

That will create more unofficial strikes.

From Oxford to Hartlepool post workers have shown that unofficial action can stop victimisation, suspension and attempts to dock pay.

Activists were gearing up to face the proposed change in start times for delivery workers.

They argued that a national assault on working conditions required a national response.

The national demonstration on Tuesday 21 August in London is a great chance to pull together on the streets and show the anger against the government and Royal Mail bosses.

The Socialist Worker supporters said that the regional protests that have already been held in London, Liverpool and Bristol were great for boosting strikers’ morale.

Stepping up the action and fighting on all fronts is what the activists are arguing is needed to win the dispute.

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