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Marching in support of the Burslem 12
ON SATURDAY 6 October more than 100 postal workers and supporters marched two miles from Burslem delivery office, Stoke-on-Trent, to the city centre for a rally at Fountain Square. The Burslem CWU banner led the march with the banner of Stoke Socialist Party bringing up the rear.
Andy Bentley, Stoke Socialist Party
It was planned only seven days before and was a marvellous show of strength and of the increasing confidence of postal workers. Thousands of leaflets building support for the strike, jointly produced by the CWU and Stoke Socialist Party, were given out alongside the march.
The march was to build support for the ongoing strike action but also to demand the reinstatement of the victimised Burslem 12 – suspended on trumped-up charges. All the elected CWU reps in Burslem are included in the 12 and this attack is a clear attempt to behead the CWU within the workplace.
However, this march and rally demonstrates that this attempt by the management to intimidate postal workers by removing their union leaders has completely backfired.
Representatives from the North Midland CWU branch, the 'Burslem 12' suspended workers, Stoke Socialist Party, North Staffs TUC, North Staffs Pensioners Convention, PCS, Unison and Coventry CWU all spoke at the rally.
Burslem postal worker Rob told us: "It was a marvellous event". Jason added: "The speakers at the rally were really good"
31 people came to the Socialist Party meeting after the rally to discuss how we can fight back against the government's attempts to privatise postal services but also how to build a genuine socialist alternative to Brown's big-business supporting New Labour.
Plans are now being considered to build for a wider march including all the depots in the North Midlands area. The leadership of the CWU needs to match the enthusiasm and determination of the Burslem postal workers by naming the date for a national demonstration as soon as possible.
In The Socialist 11 October 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
War and terrorism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis