Around 160,000 postal workers will soon start a strike ballot over pay. The CWU union’s deputy general secretary, John Keggie, announced the move at an anti-privatisation rally in Edinburgh on Saturday. Basic starting pay for a delivery postal worker is as little as £145.66 per week before tax. The top basic pay is £242.76 before tax outside London. Even with the maximum inner London allowances, the basic pay is a maximum of £291.58 a week before tax.
John Keggie also said that management was ‘planning to put vehicle services into private hands. We are telling them, ‘Under no circumstances’.’ There should be a strike which brings the battle for better pay and conditions together with the battle against job losses, privatisation and speed-ups. Postal workers have repeatedly demonstrated that they have the power to win in a recent series of unofficial strikes.
But it will take rank and file pressure to get an effective strike. Keggie knows there is immense bitterness amongst postal workers. But CWU leaders have also held off from calling the ballot for a long time. Even now Keggie says there will be no strikes this year. This is crunch time in the post. Privatisation is continuing.
Activists must drive the ballot forward while strengthening their own networks to fight independently if the national officials do not give the required lead.
Over 500 postal workers struck unofficially on Thursday of last week in west London. They were protesting at the disciplining of a union rep at the Acton office. Strikes or sit-ins took place at offices which included Acton, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Hanwell, Maida Hill, West Kensington and Kensington. A CWU member told Socialist Worker, ‘We are not prepared to see our reps pushed around by management.’
Mark Dolan, the treasurer at North/North West London CWU branch was cleared of gross misconduct charges on Tuesday. A disciplinary hearing decided there was no case to answer.
Mark had been accused of harassment after a worker overheard comments he made about the events of 11 September.
NDO workers walked out when bosses first moved against Mark. The decision is a vindication of his workmates’ campaign to stand up for free speech and in defence of their union.
POST WORKERS at the Hornsey Road Sub District Office in north London walked out on strike after persistent management bullying. Two workers were suspended for refusing to do an unreasonable amount of work. When union members called a meeting.
Management suspended the CWU union rep. The whole office walked out on strike in protest. But three hours later management caved in and lifted the suspensions.
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle