Communication Workers Union (CWU) members in Oxford, who walked out on strike in defence of a senior rep, have voted to continue their unofficial action.
The workers attended a mass meeting yesterday at the Cowley Workers Centre where they were informed that more of their senior representatives, will be facing disciplinary charges when the unofficial strike is over.
This threat was announced by a senior manager from Royal Mail who said that although the CWU had officially repudiated the unofficial action, the presence of senior reps on the picket line outside Oxford Mail Centre amounted to condoning the strike.
News Line spoke to workers outside the Mail Centre who asked that we don’t publish their names for fear of being victimised when they return to work.
One postal worker said ‘this is an attack on the whole of the CWU. Management have deliberately provoked this situation by suspending one of our reps.
‘They have not said what the charges against him are. On top of that they have said that he will never work in the Mail Centre again, no matter how long we stay out on strike.
‘There can be no fair hearing for our suspended members if they have already made up their minds. It’s like what they used to say in the wild west, “we’ll give him a fair trial then we’ll hang him”.’
Another worker who works in the Mail Centre said, ‘we cannot allow them to victimise our reps, Royal Mail’s plan is to take out all our senior reps, in the hope that support for official industrial action will collapse.’
What is clear is that Royal Mail intend to take on the CWU in Oxford in virtual lock-out situation, because they knew that suspending a rep would provoke a walk out.
They then hope to starve them back to work as an example to the rest of the CWU nationally.
The whole CWU and the rest of the trade union movement must come to the aid of the CWU in Oxford and the CWU nationally.
The aggressive management approach must have been given the green light by Royal Mail bosses Leighton and Crozier in an attempt to push back the fight of the CWU to defend postal services, wages and jobs.