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Socialist Party members have been visiting Royal Mail delivery and sorting offices all over the country and getting an excellent response to our leaflets and the Socialist. Below, Ryan Aldred reports on his visit to a Plymouth sorting office.
"Deflated, frustrated and angry." These are the words used by the CWU rep to describe the mood at Plymouth's West Park sorting office after the high court scandalously ruled against the postal workers' tremendous national ballot result.
It was clear that despite the ruling, workers are more than prepared for the struggle against Rico Back and the other Royal Mail bosses. It was only a couple of months prior that the West Park sorting office had taken three days of unofficial strike action against a bullying manager. Not only did they not face prosecution for striking outside the law, but they secured a victory. The manager in question was quickly removed before solidarity action spread to the other depots across the city on the fourth day.
The ground has been laid for an almighty struggle, one which in the immediate weeks before a general election directly poses the question of Royal Mail's renationalisation.
"Solidarity to the CWU after this outrageous decision by the establishment-supporting courts. They have clearly acted to try and prevent strikes during the general election, which could embarrass Boris Johnson. They also want to protect Royal Mail from action during their busiest time of the year. The union smashes the undemocratic voting restrictions in the Tory Trade Union Act and yet still can't take official strike action!
The whole labour and trade union movement must now come to the aid of the CWU and their members. There should be an emergency TUC general council.
We should support whatever action the CWU wants to take to defend union rights and their right to strike. Renationalise Royal Mail. Solidarity to the CWU and the posties!"
On 13 November 2019, the High Court banned and declared illegal the planned nationwide strikes by the Royal Mail and its subsidiaries, such as the parcel service.
This was preceded by a historic strike ballot of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), in which 97 per cent of all votes were cast in favour of the strike. In total, 76 percent of the 110,000 colleagues took part in the vote. This shows how angry the workers are. Their working conditions have continuously deteriorated since the IPO of the once state-owned Post Office in 2013. Now the management is threatening to outsource the profitable parcel business.
This is reminiscent of the conflict at Deutsche Post in 2015, when the outsourcing of the parcel service was just prevented. Here, too, major investors such as Black Rock have been pressing companies since their privatisation to pay ever higher dividends on the backs of the workers.
We firmly reject the attack on the right of colleagues to strike and their self-determination and strongly condemn the ban on strikes.
In Germany, too, there are repeated attempts to interfere with the right to strike, which we also reject.
Every struggle that gets lost weakens the trade union movement as a whole, no matter in which country it happens.
That is why we reach out our hands to our colleagues across the English Channel - your fight is our fight!
Post Office keywords:
Post Office (82)
Royal Mail (195)
Article dated 20 November 2019
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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