Royal Mail industrial action – report from the picket line
by Socialist Party members
“Workers at Royal Mail’s Coventry North delivery office took strike action on Tuesday 27th August, over the local management team’s treatment of the workforce.
This is just the latest example of postal workers taking action as a result of local managers’ actions.
For several months now, up and down the country, Royal Mail managers have been using intimidation and threats towards workers in a drive to save money.
National agreements have been ignored, mail traffic figures have been ‘massaged’ and a climate of fear instilled, all to ensure that staff ‘absorb’ more and more work.
Such is the scale of the problem of bullying and harassment that the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has appointed an independent body to go in to workplaces and interview staff about their experiences.
As one worker on the picket line said: “I’m part-time and I’m on a rolling contract. Some of us were taken to one side the other day and told by a manager, ‘If you go on strike, don’t worry, it won’t affect your chances of having your contracts renewed!’ They were nice about it but there was a veiled threat there.”
Tuesday’s action was a statement by the workers at Coventry North that enough is enough and management need to enter into meaningful negotiations with local CWU reps to find a resolution to the issues in that particular office.
Supporters attending the picket line included union members from Unison, PCS, NUT, Unite, Coventry TUC as well as Dave Nellist and other members of the Socialist Party. Several workers from Coventry’s South delivery office also came to support their colleagues, after finishing their night shift.
The picket line was 10-15 strong all morning, with no one crossing – apart from loads of managers, all driving BMW cars! As one worker said, “It’s us who are paying for those cars. We have to work harder so the managers can have bigger bonuses and better motors!” ”
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