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London postal workers ballot for strikes over closures

by Yuri Prasad

Postal workers in London are starting a strike ballot after Royal Mail rejected union plans to save jobs in the capital’s mail centres.

Bosses are determined to shut the Bow Locks and Nine Elms mail centres and the giant Rathbone Place central London delivery office with the loss of around 3,000 jobs.

This week they rejected a proposal by the CWU union that would have kept offices open.

The union says it will now ballot for strikes, with voting between Friday 13 May and Monday 23 May and a result shortly after.

With the privatisation of postal services looming, it is clear that Royal Mail are in an aggressive mood. Reps told Socialist Worker that they expect work from the union stronghold of Bow Locks mail centre to be moved to Mount Pleasant early next week.

Provocative management gestures of this kind have sparked waves of unofficial strikes in the past—and there is a real possibility they will do so again.

One CWU rep in Essex told Socialist Worker that word of Royal Mail’s attack on Bow Locks was spreading fast.

“We’re ready for this,” he said. “And, as soon as we get the word, we’re out the door. There’ll be a picket line, and hopefully we’ll shutdown the whole of my mail centre in solidarity very shortly afterwards.

“If the CWU is about anything, it’s about standing up for each other. This is a fight that we cannot afford to lose.”

That response must be echoed across Britain. Management want to bloody the union before selling off Royal Mail to private sector vultures.

The best way to stop them is for the union to bare its teeth and prepare for strikes—official and unofficial.

For more reports and updates check Socialist Worker regularly for updates


Article information

News
Thu 5 May 2011, 17:20 BST
Issue No. 2250
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