Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 11 October 2007

Postal workers' strike rally

Determination to continue the battle

Around 700 postal workers attended the Communication Workers Union (CWU) national rally on Monday 8 October in London. Most came straight from picket lines as a second 48-hour national strike had begun that day.

Jane James and Bill Mullins

A solidarity message was read out at the beginning of the rally from the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) which the CWU has sponsored: "We believe that your fight is our fight and the fight of the trade union movement. The attacks on your jobs, wages and working conditions are an attack on the whole of the working class. The management of Royal Mail, acting on behalf of its political masters, is attempting to create the conditions for the wholesale privatisation of the post office as a public service."

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, announced that Royal Mail had expected support for the strike to slip away. Each time management give an ultimatum that the union has to accept their latest offer or there will be no deal, they are forced to step back because of the strike action.

Dave Ward emphasised that it was the determined, solid action of CWU members that was forcing management to continue to negotiate. He added: "They want to control workers on their basis. Our people care about the industry unlike Crozier and Leighton. This is a battle over the future of the CWU".

A Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) speaker from the London regional council of the RMT reported their decision for every RMT branch in London to 'twin' with a CWU branch and to pass 'levy sheets' around the workplaces to collect for the strike. 1,000 had already been donated.

Mark Serwotka general secretary of the PCS union explained that their members are facing 104,000 job losses. They are also fighting proposals for charities to administer benefits to the unemployed and single parents. The union has had four national days of strike action in three years and its members in the Department for Work and Pensions have had 14 days of strike action in the same period. At the moment the union is holding another national ballot for further possible strike action with the result out on 23 October.

The PCS union recognised the solidarity of postal workers who have refused to cross PCS picket lines when they have been on strike. With Unison in local government now balloting and the possibility of CWU action continuing, Mark Serwotka called for united union action on the same day.

Condemnation of Labour

One theme that ran throughout the rally was condemnation of the refusal of the Labour government to intervene in the post dispute. CWU general secretary Billy Hayes pointed out that the government was quick to step in with the Northern Rock bank crisis but was not intervening in Royal Mail a company it owns. He also reported that the Labour Party had asked for help from the union when an election was on the cards but were told "when you start supporting us we'll start supporting you."

Left Labour MP John McDonnell described the depth of anger towards the government over privatisation, pay cuts and attacks on pensions. He said: "One phone call from Brown can settle this dispute." He demanded that Brown "call off the dogs". Anger towards the government was expressed in loud applause at these remarks.

The 48-hour actions have been more solid than ever with well-attended picket lines throughout the country. Further strikes are being organised.

The mood of those present at the London rally was clearly one of determination to see the strike action through but also to hope that something comes up in the talks with management. After two 48-hour strikes and before that four one-day strikes the workers are entitled to ask what else can be done to win this dispute.

The idea of united action across the public sector was one of the most popular slogans of the day.

Unfortunately, with the exception of the PCS leadership, most of the other union leaders have so far been unreliable in delivering united action; massive pressure on them from below is needed.

The CWU members are up against it right now and will have to rely primarily on their own strength. This includes preparing for all-out open ended action if the employers refuse to back off on their plans for job cuts and worsening working conditions.

They have the right to call on other workers for support, especially as they have demonstrated in action that they will fight themselves.

As the NSSN solidarity message went on to say: "We also call on all workers to respect your picket lines and give support to postal workers in their national strike action".

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 11 October 2007:

Unity with the postal workers

Gloucestershire shows determination

Marching in support of the Burslem 12

Anger at Leighton, Crozier and Brown

Picket line round-up

Determination to continue the battle

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Private hands off our NHS!

What we think

Brown's expedient election climb-down

War and terrorism

Anti-war movement upholds right to protest

Burmese students join London march

Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007: Debates to sharpen your socialism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Windscale 1957

Super-rich super-donators

Any spare cash?

Beat back the profiteers

Cuts kill - no reductions in the fire service!

Socialist Party feature

1917 October Revolution: the working class took power

International socialist news and analysis

Darfur bloodshed fuelled by land and oil grab

Iraq occupation: Brown's token gesture

Workplace news and analysis

Civil servants march against cuts and privatisation

Bolton care workers fight on

National Shop Stewards Network holds meetings around the country


Home   |   The Socialist 11 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Postal dispute:

trianglePostal dispute: Bosses still on the attack

Postal workers:

triangleHigh Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU - support the posties!

trianglePostal union determined to resist bosses' attacks

triangle"This is going to be the biggest battle we've seen in Britain for a number of years"

triangleCWU vote for strike action will boost workers' confidence to fight back


triangleBasingstoke Socialist Party: Defend post workers' jobs and wages

trianglePosties speak at Basingstoke Socialist Party public meeting

triangleMassive vote for strike action: - "We're out to win!"


triangleGeneral secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd

trianglePay, jobs, pensions... Vote for a fighting general secretary


triangleTransport for London - Justice for cleaners!

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Postal workers

Postal union determined to resist bosses' attacks


Socialist Party

I'm 90 and still a socialist



UCU strikes: Union means business in fight against employers



General secretary election: Enthusiastic support for Marion Lloyd



Socialism 2019 - what you thought



We saved Chatsworth Ward - two years on


Fighting Fund

Help socialist ideas spread this election: donate!



Barking: protest brings pledge to remove dangerous decking


Campaign Opposing Police Surveillance

Trade union conference to force secret police disclosure


Climate change

Socialism 2019 rally: "Socialist change needed to end climate change"



Leicester campaigns to save our NHS



Bradford libraries and museums: Unite members escalate action against cuts



Frimley NHS Trust strikes: Health workers walkout against privatisation



'McStrikers' demand 15 an hour


Socialist Students

Fighting for free education, jobs, homes, and a future worth living

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

November 2019

October 2019

September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019