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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Postal battles

by New Worker correspondent

INDUSTRIAL action by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is continuing across the country. Although this saw the late delivery of last week’s New Worker the workers have the full support of the paper.

Friday’s action saw 80,000 delivery men and women from 1,285 depots in the privatised Royal Mail walk out, an action repeated last Wednesday, with similar action due to take place next Thursday and Friday.

General Secretary Dave Ward said the widespread action for decent wages was boosted by anger that after having “kept our nation connected during that horrible time [of the pandemic], kept on delivering essential items – including those crucial COVID test kits” they have been treated like dirt by the senior management “who are cynically taking advantage of the cost-of-living crisis to try and launch a vicious attack on posties’ pay, terms and conditions”. He warned that: “Our members are up for this like never before – we know it’s a long haul and we’re ready for it.

“This was CWU’s first national strike since 2009 and our first over pay since 1971.” It is not only the postmen who are taking action, workers in Crown Post Offices are also taking strike action as are the more hi-tech workers at BT/Openreach, which will affect users of that new-fangled Interweb thingy.

Early on Tuesday morning CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey spoke on a Birmingham picket line to say that: “What’s really making members angry is knowing that the managers will be getting their bonuses tomorrow – on the backs of the hard work our members have put in – while refusing to resolve pay for hard-working Counter staff, Supply Chain and Admin workers.”

He added that: “Hopefully the increased pay offer from three to five per cent is a sign that they’re moving in the right direction as a consequence of these strikes” but with the news of greatly increased energy prices: “It’s still nowhere near enough – but it’s a step forward.”

Amongst the numerous reports from depots was one from Sheffield where local rep Graeme Rooker said: “It’s a little bit chilly up here – but we’re as solid as Sheffield steel.