Belfast posties: On Strike...
...and on the march.
Led and supported by local cabbies.
Do not underestimate their determination.
Or their ability to turn up the volume.
The bosses have tried every trick in the book to discredit the strike. They have even had the front to suggest that the strike is somehow sectarian in nature. This claim was made to look ridiculous the previous Tuesday when workers marched down both the Catholic Falls road and Protestant Shankhill. The last time that happened was over seventy years ago. The bosses have also assumed that as the strike is unofficial and therefore without any financial assistance it would crumble. One Northern Island Trade Union has donated £20,000 to the hardship fund. Donations have also come in from businesses and the FBU. Sorting offices on mainland Britain have refused to handle the backlog caused by the strike. Royal Mail have even resorted to flying over managers and sneaking them in under cover of darkness to do some of the work. The reality is that Royal Mail are desperate to win this strike and break the union in preparation for privatizing the postal service.
So lets recap: A historic march across the sectarian divide, no post in the capital of Northern Ireland for two weeks, a bitter unofficial strike over treatment by management.
Hands up everyone who has read about this in the newspapers or seen it on TV? Are the corporate media worried that reporting this might give workers over here ideas? Are they unable to report industrial action without being able to accuse the workers in question of being greedy? Is Northern Ireland only newsworthy when the story involves a murder or kneecapping? Where are our caring-sharing (supposedly leftwing) newspapers like the Guardian or Independent? Could it possible be that the mainstream news with regard to industrial relations is well and truly in the pocket of the government? Heaven forbid….
An independent review of industrial relations, the key demand of the strikers, has been won. Strikers also forced Royal Mail to agree a non-victimisation clause in the agreement that brought the dispute to a close - while the 12 month no strike clause was effectively scrapped.