London And Cambridge Strike Action!

CWU members in Notting Hill determined to win
CWU members in Notting Hill determined to win

ROYAL Mail staff walked out on strike in London and other parts of the country again yesterday, as a national ballot by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) reaches its conclusion.

The strikes are over the attack on jobs, terms and conditions by Royal Mail and the ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’ by Royal Mail managers.

Pickets were out at the Wimbledon Delivery Office in south-west London yesterday, where Dave Lambert told News Line: ‘The strikes are having an effect, but we’re not happy about the public not getting their mail.

‘It’s management to blame, with their harassment and bullying.

‘They want to reduce the workforce and bring in the casuals.’

Kevin Tester, another CWU member, added: ‘It’s the inadequacy of management maintaining their job cuts that’s stopping the customers getting their mail.

‘And if they want to give a proper service to the customer, they should go back to two deliveries.’

Tester said about Lord Mandelson: ‘To us he is public enemy number one, because we’re hearing he’s stopping the government from intervening.

‘I think Mandelson is a freelance, he’d work for anyone for the right price.’

At Acton Delivery Office in west London, CWU rep Mitch Mitchell said: ‘Mandelson has had a punch on the nose over the privatisation of Royal Mail, but he will come back over it.

‘At the Labour Party conference he didn’t mention it because it’s not the time to talk about it right now.

‘In our office, although we have ten vacancies we are losing two duties because all our walks are being made bigger.

‘We have said that walks are being made unmanageable and as a consequence two of our members are off sick with stress-related illness. One of those has now left his job.’

At the Notting Hill Delivery Office, Richard Smith, a postman for 33 years, said: ‘These new revisions are a load of rubbish.

‘My walk of seven years has now been split up by what is called executive action and now I am put on reserve, which means I am put on walks which I am not familiar with and of course it takes longer to do than is necessary.’

At Arnos Grove in north London, John Blackwood said: ‘We should go all out.

‘Royal Mail are not interested in the public.’

• News Line spoke to striking Cambridge postal workers on picket duty outside the Henley Road Delivery Office.

Postman, Jamie Fearon, said: ‘I don’t think Royal Mail will change their mind unless it becomes a national strike.

‘Royal Mail are trying to save money and they’re claiming that we’re not working to capacity.

‘If Mandelson wants to privatise us then the big problem they’re going to have, in my opinion, is the huge deficit in the pension fund.

‘Who’s going to take that on? I think everyone should come out after 7th October ballot result otherwise Royal Mail will force through these cut-backs right across the country.’

Steve Butts Eastern Region CWU rep said: ‘We are very well supported once again. The national ballot closes on 7th October.

‘Today we’ve seen agency workers being bussed in from a company called ManPower from as far away as Watford.

‘Yesterday was the start of Royal Mail’s executive action on un-agreed changes. We’ve had one manager to every three employees.

‘This is Macho management. They want people working faster as a result of the round changes they’ve brought in. Some of the rounds now contain 900 delivery points all to be delivered in three and a half hours!’

Robert Fox, local CWU rep, said: ‘It’s going well today. We’ve got massive support from postal workers in this office. We’re looking forward to the national ballot and looking for a huge YES vote.

‘If there is a YES vote then everyone should come out at the same time across the country, that way Royal Mail won’t be able to target work places with strike breaking managers or agencies.

‘The whole of London is out today and offices up and down the country, so in individual offices there has already been a huge YES vote’