POSTAL workers in Oxford who have been on unofficial strike for a week, yesterday returned to work.
People are still very angry and a sizeable proportion of members wanted to stay out.
A mass meeting on Sunday morning at the Cowley Workers Club voted three to one to return.
Workers took the vote after assurances from Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Deputy General Secretary (Postal) Dave Ward, that he would personally take on the case of the suspended CWU rep., whose suspension sparked the unofficial walk out last Monday, 16th July.
The workers went back on the basis of Ward’s assurances and with an agreement from management that nobody else will be subjected to disciplinary proceedings.
However, management have not lifted the suspension of the CWU rep. but said they will fast-track the disciplinary investigation, to be completed within 21 days.
Ward pledged he would personally represent the suspended rep. at any disciplinary hearing or investigation.
Management have also withdrawn CWU facility time as punishment for the unofficial action.
Oxford Mail Centre will be out on strike again tomorrow, Wednesday 25th July, as part of the national official strikes organised by the CWU over pay, jobs and conditions.
Commenting on the official action, CWU South Central branch HP section chair Rob Bolton said yesterday: ‘It’s a dog’s dinner.
‘The CWU leaders say they are aiming to cause maximum disruption, but what they will do is cause maximum confusion amongst members.
‘This fortnight of action is not the best way to go.
‘The CWU leadership has again avoided calling indefinite action and is instead sowing confusion by calling out different sections at different times.
‘This will put members in a position of being asked to cross the picket lines of their colleagues.
‘Also, how can we ask other sections of public sector workers to come out on strike when they won’t know what day to do it?
‘The last one day strikes were not enough, but at least everyone was out together.
‘People want the strike to be effective.
‘We need the CWU to call indefinite national strike action.
‘Postal workers need to take the initiative and form Councils of Action to involve all workers in defending all public services, jobs and wages.
‘The Councils of Action must build up the call for a general strike to bring down this bankers’ government and go forward to a workers’ government and socialism.
‘Only that way will workers jobs be safe and public services protected from the privateers.’