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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 October 2009

Vital battle to save Mail service

Play video: a striking postal worker speaks to The Socialist. Click to play

Postal workers must win

As the national strike to defend the postal service and its workforce begins on 22 October, two Communication Workers Union (CWU) members spoke to The Socialist about the importance of the dispute for all workers.

"I have worked for Royal Mail for almost 30 years, I have been a rep for 20 years and have seen many industrial conflicts in my role as a local distribution rep.

I have seen management regimes come and go. Some try to marginalise the union, some try to reach a negotiated settlement with us. But this is the worst management regime I have ever encountered.

In our last dispute in 2007, the recommendation to cease industrial action was a big mistake.

My CWU branch, North West Central Amal, recommended rejection to the nationally recommended deal. Our view was that we could have the best agreement in the world but these managers can't be trusted to honour it. Our branch view has been vindicated.

Now a 76% 'yes' vote for industrial action has stunned Royal Mail and the media. The Labour government has been exposed as egging on Royal Mail to crush the CWU. The revelation on BBC Newsnight about the leaked secret strategy document has sent shock waves throughout the workplace.

The membership are up for this battle."

A Manchester postal worker

"As a working man all I ever wanted was to provide a decent living for my family. I have worked for Royal Mail for over five years in an office in Lincolnshire. Nothing much seems to happen there, except now we are fighting for our very existence as workers.

The changes we have endured are from a Labour-backed Royal Mail management. Through all this carnage the national leaders of our own union still have blind faith in a Labour Party who are more right wing than "dear old Maggie" ever was.

We know from our own struggles of the past, decisive, positive action is the key in any industrial action.

The fundamentals of this strike could and will have repercussions for every worker in the UK. The bosses will seize every opportunity to casualise work, creating vast fortunes for the few, and misery for the many.

The message now is still the same as it was a hundred years ago. Unity is strength. We need a workers' party for the workers. We should cut all trade union funding to the neo-liberal parties. We don't want much, all we want is the world."

A Lincolnshire postal worker

The Socialist calls for:

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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.
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In The Socialist 20 October 2009:

Postal workers must win

Post - a battle that mass strike action can win


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Troops out!

Afghanistan - end the bloody occupation


Anti-racism

Protests at the BBC: No to the far-right, racist BNP

WDL racists chased out of town


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka protest: Shut down the prison camps!

Chinaworker.info journalist refused entry into China


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tommy Sheridan - a socialist fighter on a worker's wage

Laughing all the way to the bank

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

FBU strike to defend fire service

Leeds bin workers fight on

Giant energy company hounds unemployed electrician

First bus drivers give bosses a 'fright'

400 jobs under threat at Leeds

Striking at London Metropolitan


Education

Primary education: Report slams government policy


Political representation

Union activists discuss pulling the plug on Labour

Conference on political representation


Socialist Party reviews

The Greatest Show on Earth: The evidence for Evolution

Hard Times by Charles Dickens, reviewed by Linda Taaffe


Marxist analysis: history

When Britain's spies backed Mussolini


 

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Related links:

Postal workers:

triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

trianglePostal workers walk out over health, safety and junk mail

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

trianglePostal workers mobilise to win strike reballot: Vote yes!

trianglePosties withdraw goodwill from cruel bosses

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triangleBexley binworkers' strike wins sick pay from day one

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CWU:

triangleCorona crisis brings new issues into the postal dispute

triangleAll out to win strike reballot

triangleRoyal Mail workers in the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) supporting a 'yes' vote in a reballot for strike action, at a gate meeting at Leicester Meridian, 25.2.20, photo by Steve Score

Royal Mail:

triangleWorkers to reballot for strike action

triangleRoyal Mail court ruling - national reps meeting and solidarity action essential

Labour:

triangleEnd of the Corbyn era

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