Postal workers and supporters held a march and rally at lunch time today. Over 400 posties and supporters marched from the Shankill Road across the peace line at Lanark Way on to the Falls Road.
Members of the Belfast Local of Organise! are proud to have stood shoulder to shoulder with postal workers on this historic occassion. While it is not, as one speaker claimed, the first time the Shankill and Falls have marched together in an act of working class solidarity since the outdoor relief strike of 1932* (the firefighters held a similar march to the Springfield Road fire station during their 2002-03 dispute) it is significant none-the-less. A mass rally was held at Lanark Way and speech after speech heard the bullying tactics of Post Office management condemned. The longest speech was delivered by Eamonn McCann, of the SWP and Derry Trades Council, who addressed the wider class struggle and the general attack on working conditions and workers rights taking place across workplaces.
At 2.00pm the speeches ended and workers marched from Lanark Way onto the Springfield Road, on down onto the Falls Road and into the city centre. Along the route whole families came out of their houses in support and workers downed tools to get a glimpse of the march, while people in cars beeped their horns in support. Chants of solidarity and whistles rang out along the route - the mood throughout was one of defiance and strength in solidarity.
This march, organised by the postal workers themselves, gave a morale boost to their strike. The strikers got a loud and clear message of support from working class people in Belfast today, one that counters media claims of ‘chaos’ and unwelcome disruption caused by the wildcat action. It also emphasised the importance of this struggle reaching beyond the workplace and involving working-class communities. In solidarity lies victory.
A victory for one is a victory for all!
* See here for a history of the strike: