Sunday, 1 July 2007

Postal Workers on Strike! Smash the Pay Freeze!

In the hot summer of 2004 we launched our coalition, RESPECT.
At that time, the CWU in South East Wales voted to support us in the European Elections.
On Friday, RESPECT members in the postal service joined other workers in a strike against Gordon Brown's attempt to impose a pay freeze on workers across the public sector.
Many other RESPECT members also visited picket lines in solidarity and collected donations at their workplaces for striking postal workers.

This follows strike action by workers in the PCS and other unions on the same issue. Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS and a member of RESPECT's National Council has been pushing for different unions to strike together on the same day. It is rumoured that he has written 5 times to Billy Hayes, the leader of the CWU with the proposal that they co-ordinate strike actions and not received even a reply.

It seems that Labour Party member, Billy Hayes, places loyalty to his discredited party over the interests of CWU members and working people as a whole. RESPECT members are organising at the grassroots to put pressure on the union bureaucracies to co-ordinate strike action to smash Gordon Brown's pay freeze.

Jonny Jones from Splott RESPECT in Cardiff visited picket lines to show solidarity, he writes:

"From the Post Office in the Mumbles to the massive sorting office in Cardiff, the CWU picket lines in South Wales were friendly and very determined to win their dispute.

There were around a dozen pickets at the main sorting office in Swansea, most of whom were very glad to see Respect supporters on the picket line. One picket joked that there were more teachers than posties!

In Cardiff the strike was almost completely solid. One picket said that only one person had gone in and that we should feel free to print his name in bold.

AJ Singh of Cardiff CWU said, “If Alan Leighton wants dignity and respect in the postal service then he needs to show some dignity and respect by paying staff properly and not eroding their working conditions”.

Strikers talked about the possibility of joint action with the PCS and will be working with PCS members to set up a joint union meeting on how best to beat Gordon Brown’s pay freeze."

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