12 December 2014
Post Office workers strike against sackings
Post Office Admin and Supply Chain depots and units were hit by nationwide walkouts today, as hundreds of angry staff took action against the threat of compulsory redundancies and for a fair pay rise.
Lively pickets and rock-solid action was reported from locations north, south, east and west, with Post Office spending taxpayers’ money on deploying many of their managers on the controversial “rapid response teams” of replacement drivers in a futile attempt to break the strike.
Once again, I’m very proud of the courage, determination and fighting spirit of our members who stood up to bullying bosses and made a stand for fairness and dignity at work today.
CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “Once again, I’m very proud of the courage, determination and fighting spirit of our members who stood up to bullying bosses and made a stand for fairness and dignity at work today.”
Both Dave and assistant secretary Andy Furey attended this morning’s picket at the rain-swept East London Depot, where they told strikers that next Monday’s postal executive will be discussing a formal proposal from them to hold a nationwide strike ballot of all Post Office members.
“This union has never accepted compulsory redundancies within Royal Mail Group and we will never accept it at the Post Office. And if this dispute needs to be widened in order to win justice, then so be it,” said Dave, to cheers from
the East London pickets, whose unit rep Denis Shanahansaid: “I’ve been very pleased with our guys today – the morale is high and we’re ready to step up to a 48-hour strike.”
Andy Furey told the workforce: “This won’t be a quick dispute, but it’s a dispute we have to win. “Well done to everyone here today and at all the other in-dispute workplaces across the country.”
From Glasgow, CWU unit rep Alan McLachlan reported “100 per cent support.
“Everyone’s up for the fight, and for as long as it takes. As soon as they open the door to compulsory redundancies then it’s just going to keep coming back at us,” he pointed out.
Managers in Birmingham have also been sending inexperienced and under-trained replacement drivers out to try to break the will of the union, according to CWU branch secretary Steve Reid, and as in London and elsewhere, this management tactic has failed.
“The strike is very well supported,” noted Steve, adding: “Compulsory redundancies are every worker’s nightmare – our members here are fighting for their livelihoods.”
Morale in Manchester was boosted by barbecue sausages on the picket line, from where unit rep Steve Rigbyreported: “Not one of our lads went in and we’re ready to go again if we need to.
“There were eight managers driving four vans,” Steve added. “They didn’t send any single-person vans out like they ask us to.”
Swindon Stock Centre, and other Admin grades workers strongly backed the action too, said CWU rep Lynn Simpson. “Our members have only taken action once before, but they’re absolutely united in their determination to stop compulsory redundancies,” she explained.
From the Bristol picket line, branch secretary Dave Wilshireinsisted that “the clear message from Bristol is that compulsory redundancies will be fought all the way – now is the time to spread the action across the whole Post Office.”
“Hammering rain” in Swansea could not dampen the spirits of our striking members, said CWU rep Rob Jones. “Today was a good show of solidarity, everyone out and only three managers went in.
“It’s all about the compulsory redundancies – we’ve got to stop them,” he vowed.
Up in the north east, Newcastle rep Keith Gibson and his colleagues are “already planning for the next strike and digging in for a tough fight.
“Morale was good here today and the mood was upbeat – thanks to all who are supporting us.”