Thursday 8 March 2007

Branch Meeting: Backing the Burslem Posties

The weather may have been shite but it didn't pose a problem for the solid Bolsheviks of Stoke Socialist Party.

Unfortunately tonight's lead off on the Indian caste system had to be postponed as the comrade in question had fallen victim to the lurgy. Instead comrade A stepped into the breach with a discussion of the Burslem postal dispute, which has undergone a significant escalation in the last 48 hours.

In recent months the Burslem depot has seen action over management's attempt to ride roughshod over previous agreements around workplace regulations, sickness, overtime and moves to replace full time with part time workers. During the last dispute, management alleged one postal worker, Dave Condliffe, engaged in abusive behaviour toward a couple of managers who'd asked him where to put some mail while he was on strike. On this point the union rule book is clear: striking members do not have to provide assistance to those still working in any way.

Given the local defeats inflicted on Royal Mail management they seized upon this as a pathetic attempt at vengeance. Dave was suspended for nine weeks and finally sacked yesterday. Their vindictiveness is demonstrated by the fact that he's worked for Royal Mail for 13 years, possesses an exemplary record, has not had one day off sick in that time and finally, management refused to hear evidence from two young lads who witnessed the scene. Dave and the CWU are appealing the sacking, and in the meantime the depot has come out on a six-day strike for his reinstatement.

A was on the picket line at 4:30 this morning and reported there was a buoyant mood and a determination to win. The rest of the branch discussion then was on what we can do to assist the strike. This is not an academic issue for us: we have members and supporters who are posties. I'm sure readers will forgive me if I don't spell them all out on here, except to say we will be promoting the internet petition and trying to get messages of support sent from all over the world. Already the messages Dave and the rest of his comrades have received have gone down very well, so the more the merrier!

NB It has been pointed out there have been problems with the online petition on Stoke SP's website. People who sign up will get an error message. I'm told that if a signatory tries again it will get through, so try, try, and try again! The problem should be fixed very soon. Sign the petition against Royal Mail bullying here and send messages of support to CWU. Midland No 7, Lindsay Street Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 4EP. Fax 01782 272978. Telephone 01782 285833. E-mail with a copy to (remove the NOSPAMs).


Frank Partisan said...

All the best in their struggle.

Duncan said...

Great idea with the petition Phil, but I got this when I tried to sign:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting ',' or ';' in /var/www/stokesocialistparty/petition/received.php on line 98

Never mind, I second Renegade Eyes comment.

Anonymous said...

Yes there's a problem with the petition - see my post. If you go and sign again it will accept.

Unknown said...

I think I've now sorted the problem we were having with the petition. It was something to do with sending the confirmation email to the signer.
If you hear anyone else have any problems, will you let me know please.


Leftwing Criminologist said...

How much support have you got so far with the petition?
I don't know if you've been reading the socialist, but we've had a similar situation where a member of staff has been sacked and the rest of the workers have come out in support (although here the company sacked them as well). The company is a private care company, Unique Care. There into somethintg like the 10th week of being out now and the spirits are stilh high, i just went down to the picket line this morning.