On Thursday, 02.08.07 along with other posties throughout the country Birkenhead sorting office mounted a picket some 20 strong from 05.30 to 09.00. At approx 07.30 a lorry full of mail from the Chester hub came to deliver.(this would mean that mail would be waiting to be sorted from 5.30 the next day) After consultation with the picket and to the furious dismay of a manager the driver turned his truck around, unloaded back to the hub at Chester.
This received a massive applause from the pickets who understood only full well that the driver would be suspended for the day plus the fact that the previous day the drivers were out on a one-day strike througout the Royal Mail network. The following day posties from Birkenhead held a collection so that the driver would get his day's pay. However, we heard that again that back in Chester many drivers had refused to cross picket line and that they also, were suspended.(to date we have heard nothing about this) there was a resolve amongst Birkenhead posties that if the drivers suspension carried on that they would black any mail delivered by managers (as has been the case in the recent past) but RM managed to get a lorry to Birkenhead by 7.30 the next day.
Posties were I work have to rely on rumour in order that we understand were things are going (for example even on Friday 03.08.07 many posties had not hearded about the unofficial actions in Glasgow and the walkouts throughout Scotland, this is even true for the actions 'across the water' in Liverpool. There also seems to be a news/media blackout on the actions and only through Libcom can I get any news.
1) Posties are militant and determained but many are now saying that management are coping with the one-day actions by streaming and soaking the back-log of mail throughout the week.
2) There is a lack of co-ordination with different groups of workers and this is of imperative importance because there is a strong CWU determination to keep the different sectors seperate. This is explained away by saying that we are hitting RM on different days. But RM seem to be managing.
3) That the resolve of RM management to impose its 'plan' has the full backing of Brown's government who are tying the public sector to 2.5%. against, all of the express declarations of the CWU this is going to be a long strike