a statement & "leaflet" by some postal workers
Postal Workers Guide To Action, Now And In The Future
Written for posties, by people in the Small Underground Group of Angry Posties, 1 NOV 2003
We are a small "underground" group of postal workers in the
Southeast. We want to make a brief "address" to our fellow
workers. We don't represent anyone apart from ourselves.
We're not looking for new "members".
Any rumours you hear about who (or where) we are, are
probably untrue. For reasons that will become clear, we
intend to remain anonymous.
We encourage others to publish leaflets in the same way we
If you think there's anything worthwhile in what we say,
please circulate this message. (If you do so by email,
don't use work addresses! If you print it out, please only
hand it to people you trust)
If it's called for, we may do further "leaflets" like this.
OUR RESPONSE TO THEIR ATTACKS
First off, let's make no mistake about two things -
ONE - THE WILDCAT WALKOUTS ARE GREAT. Whatever happens next,
many of us are putting up a fight for dignity. Many aren't
going through any 'official' representative or bureaucratic
machinery. This machinery hasn't exactly enabled a wonderful
defence of our conditions, has it?
TWO - the managers have been cracking the whip for a few
years now, and especially over the past year. And they
PLAN TO CONTINUE to trample all over existing practices.
Some of the thugs they employ as local managers were visibly
upset that there wasn't a "YES" result in the recent ballot.
Weird, huh? But why was it? Answer - it was because they were
itching to rub our faces further into the dirt, sack
"troublemakers", and force those still with jobs to return
with their tails between their legs. To return to conditions
in which the bosses' and managers' gloves would really be off.
Some of them would be happy in the neo-Nazi BNP if they're not
already in it! This is exactly the attitude that senior
managers and Postcomm are encouraging.
So - tearing up the industrial framework WASN'T the result of
their 'interpretation' or 'misinterpretation' of the ballot.
It was what the bastards were PLANNING TO DO ANYWAY, egged on
by the government.
Look at the EVIDENCE GATHERING PROCEDURES document. It didn't
come out of nowhere. The "industrial relations team" to which
the information is being sent, didn't set up its computerised
facilities for collecting all of this information on the spur
of the moment. We are also talking about cooperation between
the Investigation Department, "private" bodies such as
CAPRiM (formerly the Economic League) and Experian, and
"state" bodies including police and MI5.
Already, as senior CWU officials know full well, little
happens in the union environment without bosses being
informed or having the capability of finding out when they
REALISTIC STRUGGLE - HOW CAN WE ATTACK?
It may come as a surprise that we talk of realistic struggle.
But the last thing we want to do is bang our heads on brick
walls or encourage anyone else to.
Realism means knowing we are being watched all over the place.
For this reason, MASS MEETINGS ARE NOT A GOOD IDEA.
Realism means spreading the struggle, for sure. And we don't
need anyone's permission. Printing off stickers, however
mild it may sound, is a good idea. It doesn't take long to
print off 100 A4 pages of stickers on a photocopier, e.g.
with slogans such as "SUPPORT STRIKING POSTAL WORKERS", and
stick them up in shopping centres, on bus shelters, outside
other workplaces large and small. Sticking them on postboxes
is an excellent idea - and of course, don't get caught!
Go direct to other workplaces. Picket lines can be
over-romanticised. Their point is 1) to DETER SCABS and
2) to have a PLACE WHERE OTHER WORKING CLASS PEOPLE CAN COME
TO MEET US. When they serve these purposes, fine. When they
don't, well why not go and do something else? When was the
last time anyone won a strike by attrition?
Nor does horn-tooting (although welcome) amount to a great
Target workplaces where strikes will cause major disruption,
such as tube stations.
BUT - let's not imagine that there's going to be a large
all-out strike (or for that matter, a short multi-industry
strike), at the end of which the bosses are going to back
down, say sorry for the crackdown, and start reversing it.
They aren't. It's a MYTH to think otherwise. In present
conditions (including with most workers up to their eyeballs
in debt), it's a DANGEROUS myth. Because what would really
happen is a huge amount of information would be gathered and
there would be widespread sackings. The size of the
workforce will be reduced anyway. Let's not pretend
otherwise. But it's better not to get the sack if you want
to get another job or claim benefits.
The answer? DO NOT DO THINGS OPENLY - that's the answer.
Become adept at "night and fog operations"!
There isn't going to be a victorious strike. Sorry, but
there isn't. BUT techniques and types of struggle (and even
organisation) used DURING wildcat strikes can be used
- adapted if necessary - WHEN WE'RE AT WORK too.
In short, let's STRIKE when it suits us, acting on no-one's
say-so but our own, and CONTINUE to fight when we're not
SUPERGLUE locks, for example. Just don't break the 11th
commandment! (If you buy the glue in B&Q, try not to wear
your uniform or tell everyone you're a postie - you get the
idea). Even just putting a few matchsticks in a keyhole can
GET YOUR OWN BACK at managers - RILE the bastards so
that they don't know who's doing it. Make their lives a
DON'T ADMIT TO STUFF. Don't shoot your mouth off. If asked,
when there's an "investigation", say you DON'T KNOW ANYTHING.
PUT UP STICKERS - especially ones that expose, abuse, or
ridicule particularly hated managers.
BE CAREFUL - don't go from a picket line straight to buy
some superglue. If you think you're being watched, it's
because you ARE being watched!
SOMETIMES ACT COMPLETELY OUT OF THE BLUE. In fact, do this
GET READY TO STEP UP ATTACKS IN THE RUN-UP TO CHRISTMAS!
We are advocating the use of RESPONSIBLE "underground"
methods. Don't be an idiot and don't get caught.
Here's one method we've used with success...
Get a sponge and soak it.
Tie it round very tightly with string, to make a
very small ball.
Leave it to dry.
When it's completely dry, take off the string.
It won't expand.
Flush it down a toilet.
It will go several metres down the pipe before it expands.
Very soon the toilet will be unusable, and managers will
have to call a plumber.
Believe us, this WORKS.
Drag powerful magnets across computer screens.
USE YOUR IMAGINATION.
"Build for the future", don't get unrealistically optimistic,
but don't get unrealistically pessimistic either. Conditions
are worsening and will continue to worsen, but that doesn't
mean we can't struggle. We bloody well can struggle. But we
have to adapt our forms of struggle and organisation to the
Above all, the absolute bottom line -
- let's only discuss with people we trust
- form our own ***** opinions, rather than let the media,
bosses, politicians, union reps, or "professional
militants" do it for us. They've all got forked tongues.
In particular, the media will always, always, always
***** us over.
- you are being watched!
a Small Underground Group of Angry Posties, 1 NOV 2003