Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1051/29402
From The Socialist newspaper, 31 July 2019
Plymouth posties deliver defiant message to bullying bosses
Plymouth Royal Mail workers on strike against bullying management, 24-26.7.19, photo by Ryan Aldred (Click to enlarge)
Ryan Aldred, Plymouth Socialist Party
Postal workers at the West Park delivery office in Plymouth took unofficial strike action from 24-26 July after Royal Mail's refusal to deal with bullying and harassment.
A manager who had already been removed from one office and had had ten complaints and more than 50 grievances raised against him was still working alongside those who had made complaints, prompting the walkout.
Clearly going against their own policies and procedures Royal Mail refused to suspend the manager pending investigation. As one striker put it "this is clearly a test of the union's strength. Three members of staff have gone sick with stress in the last couple of weeks and some have been reduced to tears.
"If there is a problem the company need to investigate it. Some were nervous about going out unofficially but they've [management] lost the art of negotiation. They were chucking our personal belongings out of the gate when we walked out. Saying 'we'll leave you out on the streets!' We've had 100% solidarity with the whole office coming out in support of the strike.
"Senior managers are on £70,000 a year and they're now trying to do our work so hopefully now they'll know what it's like. It's funny, the moment there's a strike on all of a sudden they've got nothing to do so managers get shipped in from all over Devon to try and undermine the strike."
By Friday, gate meetings had been organised at all four depots in Plymouth. The strength of feeling was such that the other three depots had agreed to walk out on 27 July if the manager wasn't removed. This would have meant that the only thing being delivered across Plymouth would have been a defiant message to the bosses!
As soon as word had gotten around that the strike was in danger of spreading, Royal Mail management suddenly rediscovered the art of negotiation and Communication Workers Union reps were called in to negotiate a deal to end the strike.
When asked about how much things have changed since privatisation Jason responded "It's no longer about the service it's about the shareholders. They go on about customer service but they don't care that mail isn't going out, they would rather close ranks around the managers."
Postal workers were grateful for the support given by the Socialist Party during the strike. While this issue has now been resolved, it is clear that it is only a matter of time before what has become a systemic problem of bullying and harassment resurfaces.
The Socialist Party calls for the renationalisation of Royal Mail and an end to the culture of bullying that has emerged under private ownership. Service, not the shareholders' profits needs to be the bottom line.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 31 July 2019:
What we think
Boris, Brexit and British capitalism
CWI refounded with determination and confidence
"The longest, darkest days of my life": fighting Universal Credit
Socialist Party news and analysis
Build a working-class movement to force an election
Labour promises to end council privatisation: councils must do that now!
Tories look in wrong place for climate solutions
Lib Dems: little bosses' party elects eager pro-austerity leader
Aristocrats are rich after all... and getting richer
International socialist news and analysis
Mass movement topples governor of Puerto Rico
Hong Kong: the struggle for democratic rights escalates
Workplace news and analysis
Lobby the TUC for workers' action to defeat Johnson
Northern Ireland: Harland and Wolff shipyard workers enter occupation
"Enough is enough": 20,000 Northern Ireland civil servants strike against pay restraint
Plymouth posties deliver defiant message to bullying bosses
"BEIS: stop pISSing about and give outsourcing the boot!"
Hackney transport strike - blockade foils employers
Sainsbury's distribution workers' second 24-hour strike against cuts to sick pay
Nottingham Deliveroo riders strike against unfair algorithm
Bromley library workers strike against running down
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Enfield: 100% council homes at Meridian Water!
Walthamstow shopping centre fire: people's plan - not disaster capitalism
Tolpuddle festival 2019: socialist policies to end Tory rule and austerity
Barking: campaigning over housing safety
July climate strikes: link up with the workers' movement
Ilford: parents and teachers unite against school cuts
Boris Johnson 'coronation' - demos say: boot him out!
The Socialist Party has moved!
The Socialist inbox
Huge workload, low pay and unpaid hours - a day in the life of a teaching assistant
The Socialist 31 July 2019 |
Join the Socialist
| Audio | PDF | ebook