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Cov Wobblies support local posties

Coventrians Wobble On | 13.07.2007 13:30 | Workers' Movements | Birmingham

IWW supports posties - 1000 jobs may go in Cov !

Thursday evening a couple of local IWW supporters went down to the main sorting office in Coventry to offer solidarity to CWU members striking against a derisory 2.5% pay deal despite 4.8% infaltion.

We spoke to the Area Processing Rep who said that there is no further ation planned at the mo. but were hoping to bring Royal Mail management back to the negotiating table. He said there'd been a 60 % ballot turn out with 77% voting Yes to action.

Posties in Coventry have a particular grievance because Royal Mail are planning to modernise their sorting equipment which they have said will lead to a loss of jobs. They plan to shut down the Bishop St sorting office where 1000 people are employed and move work to Northampton. They have been told that there could be jobs for them in Northampton, but obviously not as many (due to increased automation) and the fact that people won't generally want to travel that far. Posties in Cov would like a new building but for those with the jobs in Coventry to be able to keep them.

.....As wobblies we feel that increased automation should be used to shorten the working week (with no loss of pay) and not mean the destruction of jobs.

This morning there was an organised picket line which welcomed our food/drink hamper. They seemed pleased when we said we're not from a political group but another union offering support. We also gave out our leaflets which criticised the hierarchical structure of the mainstream unions; whilst suggesting the CWUs union bosses seemed to be shying away from longer action which could be co-ordinated with campaigns by other public service workers and support from the public which could enhance the effectiveness of their action.

The effects of being in a hierarchical union are that the executive have the mandate to call for action as well as pull the plug on it when members want to go further.
If members don't feel their union tops are pulling out all the stops, it's hard to hold them to account. It may be necessary to set up srike commitees on the basis of local workplace meetings; then link these together to co-ordinate action and maintain the initiative to take action and agree settlements in the grass roots if workers feel that their leadership aren't prepared to go far enough.

Coventrians Wobble On
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