Militancy in the post
ALL 700 post office workers at the Greenford office in west London walked out unofficially last week when union rep Steve Botwright was suspended for refusing to take on extra work beyond his normal duties.
One of the main reasons bosses set up the new office in Greenford was to break union militancy and stop unofficial strikes. Management want to move some work done at the well organised NDO office in north London to Greenford. The plan is to dilute militancy and break good working agreements won in the past.
Now Greenford workers have shown they too are not going to be pushed around and are ready to fight for their rights. CWU union members told Socialist Worker that Steve is a very good rep and were convinced this was the reason for the suspension. Workers also expressed deep anger with broken promises by management over terms and conditions. Bonuses have not been paid for six months and overtime is being cut back.
The strike lasted for 36 hours and was sustained by big picket lines. There was also solidarity action at the Edgware and Harrow offices. National union officials eventually persuaded workers to go back after arguing that the dispute hung on a question of interpretation of the Way Forward agreement pushed through last year.
The national officials’ actions infuriated some workers who said they were acting just like management. Greenford workers have shown they are ready to fight. That needs to be built on.
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