‘WE HAVE TO DO MORE. THIS IS NO JOKE, ITS OUR LIVELIHOODS!’ – CWU polstal workers tell News Line

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Postman Pat and friends on the picket line at E3 Sorting Office at Bow, London, yesterday morning
Postman Pat and friends on the picket line at E3 Sorting Office at Bow, London, yesterday morning

ON THE second day of CWU strike action against the Post Office’s wage-cutting and job-cutting attacks, Tony O’Donovan, unit rep in the largest Crawley CWU branch, SE No. 5, told News Line that the strike had won excellent support.

He praised other trade union branches in the area such as the RMT branch which visited the picket line on Thursday night.

‘People are fed up with the way we are being treated’, he said.

‘We are obviously disappointed with the intransigence of (Royal Mail) management.

‘Crozier’s failure to settle this dispute is an abrogation of his duty to the government, regardless of his responsibility to hard working postal workers.’

On the picket line at Nine Elms, south west London, CWU member Brian Rowling said: ‘We want a negotiated settlement, that’s all we’re asking.

‘We’ve been used to transition over three decades by negotiated settlement. I don’t know why they’ve gone to the extreme of getting us out on strike.

‘All we want to do is serve the public – their business-plan will be no good for the public service that we provide.’

Fellow picket Ken Opara said: ‘I’m in total agreement with what the union is doing. None of the public services should be privatised. I’ve always believed that.’

At Wood Green Sorting Office in north London CWU member Andy Purtin said: ‘It’s an even better picket this time. We haven’t got a union rep but the area rep’s been round. We’re solid. People can see what can be done when you fight.’

At nearby Finsbury Park, Kenneth Bryan said: ‘I’ve worked 10 years. It’s elementary, managers and workers work together to get on with it. But the big boys are not taking any notice of us, they’re not responding.

‘We have to do more, this isn’t a joke. This is our livelihood. They’re trying to suck us dry.

‘At the moment the atmosphere is like a war between management and workers. We’ll win because we do all the grafting.’

CWU member Daniel added: ‘We should join with other workers because they’re fighting for the same thing.

‘I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. One-day strike is not good enough. If it was escalated it would be different.

‘We should escalate the strike to include other workers, more people, more voices.’

At Hornsey in north London, Carl Dy said: ‘Our office is 100 per cent solid. We’re going all the way, whatever it takes.

‘We should be like France, where everyone walked out and stopped the whole country, then they’ll listen to us.’

Sharon Skelton added: ‘If they get away with this they’ll get away with anything, they’ll rip us apart.

‘The Post Office is a service for the public. We have to bring out other sections. Everyone should stand up and be counted.’

On the picket line at the East London Mail Centre, Angela Mulcahy, Area Processing Rep of the East London Postal Branch, said: ‘The strike is one hundred per cent all over the country.

‘We need them to come back to the negotiating table. We are happy to talk any time so long as it is meaningful and we are not being dictated to.

‘It is up to our Executive and General Secretary to take this forward.’

At the E3 Sorting Office, the Unit Rep Vince Micallef said: ‘The strike is strong throughout north and east London.

‘Only 0.5 per cent of people worked last time in this area.

‘We have had loads of support from both young and old, local political parties like Respect and other unions.

‘We need Adam Crozier and Allan Leighton to sit down with our union and not try to by-pass our union, and stop bullying us into accepting what they want us to accept.

‘You are dealing with working men and women who want to be rewarded for working harder, while management get millions in bonuses.

‘We will do what it takes to make them listen to us.’

The picket line burst into song when they were having their photograph taken.

They sang: ‘All we are saying, is give us a chance’ and ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’

On the picket line at Harrow, north west London, Andrew Blundy said: ‘Crozier is trying to take the CWU out.

‘I think we’re heading for a general strike. All the public sector are being balloted. People say they want to come out at the same time as us. Let’s have an all out strike.’

Harrow and Uxbridge Deputy Area Rep Richard Kassir said: ‘If we could get more collectivity with other unions then all out strike action would have a very powerful and determining effect, even for one week.

‘It sounds hackneyed, but “unity is strength” is so true.’

Harrow Deputy Unit Rep Sally Blundy said: ‘I’ve stood out on strike here many times before, but there’s great determination this time. I think this is the big one.

‘Delivery postmen enjoy what they do and we are proud of what we do. It was handed down from generation to generation, but the government and its regulator Postcomm are out to smash it.

‘This struggle is going to get bigger before it’s resolved.’

Nigel Ludbrook said: ‘This is a battle of wills. I believe in this struggle. The changes they are trying to implement will harm the service.

‘If we have to have a general strike then we have to make sure we win it. It is the ultimate conflict.

‘I believe in a society where everyone puts in what they can and takes out what they need.’

On the picket line outside the massive Greenford Mail Centre, Steve Howlett said: ‘I think it’s about trying to break the union.

‘A lot of unions involved in public services are very unhappy. The government’s behind it.

‘So we’re fighting the Royal Mail employer, Postcomm and the government. We can’t afford to lose.’

Roger Naran added: ‘The whole country should come out. We need a general strike.’

At Hampstead Delivery Office, north west London, CWU Deputy Rep John Taylor said: ‘We would like to thank the general public for supporting us.

‘It will be a long struggle but we will win.’

Ken Walker, CWU Staff Rep at Kentish Town Delivery Office, said: ‘We’re 100 per cent solid at this office and we’re getting the same story from other offices.’