Socialist Worker

Crucial post strike in Stoke

Published Tue 11 Aug 2009
Issue No. 2164

Postal workers in Stoke began crucial strikes on Tuesday.

The mail centre in Leek Road is on indefinite official strike.

Delivery workers at the centre have refused to cross picket lines and are on unofficial strike.

They are absolutely right to take this action. Both strikes need full support.

The background is Royal Mail’s decision to move work from the Stoke mail centre to Wolverhampton in three weeks time.

Management offered talks about this but will now not enter any form of meaningful negotiations while there is a threat of a strike.

The delivery workers have been told that just 18 of them will be offered jobs in Stoke, while 80 must transfer to Wolverhampton which is 40 miles away.

If they refuse to move to Wolverhampton, to duties such as one that includes 11am to 7pm on a Saturday, Royal Mail will regard these workers as having made themselves voluntarily redundant and they will be finished.

It is crucial that Stoke gets full support.

Last week 25,000 CWU members went on strike. From London to Bristol to Birmingham to Edinburgh via Crick, Rochdale, East Anglia and elsewhere postal workers showed they are fed up with the bullying attacks from management.

And now the action is spreading. London is out this week and so are some offices in Bristol.

It’s no wonder there’s a fight. Royal Mail, backed to the hilt by the Labour government, is pressing on with outrageous attacks.

Managers are handing down imposed cuts and job losses like confetti.

In London, for example, management have taken executive action in over 50 offices and have issued a further 28 statements of intent.

Such assaults underline why it is vital the CWU has called a national ballot—but it was a mistake to leave it so late. The attacks are happening now but the ballot timetable means it will be at least seven weeks before there’s a national fightback.So the strikes that have taken place already should be repeated—and more offices drawn into the fight.

It is wrong that the national union has said it will not process any further strike ballots.

That’s why it’s critical that if the bosses do continue to impose cuts or victimise CWU members that there is unofficial action like in Stoke. Otherwise management has a free hand.

And everyone must give full solidarity to the strikes that happen—no more doing other offices’ work, no more crossing of picket lines.

The government is weak and postal workers have shown they will fight.

This is a crucial battle that has to be won.

Rush messages of support to Midland No 7 Branch, CWU Union Room, Lindsay Street, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, ST1 4EP. Phone 01782 285833/272682. Fax 01782 272978. Email: branch.secretary@cwumid7.org.uk


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Tue 11 Aug 2009, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2164
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