Archive of the day-by-day reports and updates, as well as background information on the victorious wildcat strike action of Belfast postal workers from 31 January to 17 February 2006.
Background to the strike
On 31 January, 200 postal workers at the Tomb Street depot in Belfast walked out. Their wildcat strike action, not approved by the Communication Workers' Union (CWU), was in response to management bullying; in particular disciplinary action taken against two postal workers in the Shankill area, one of whom is believed to have been further victimised as a result of keeping a diary of harassment.
The number of postal workers joining the unofficial action grew to 400, then on 3 February workers at the Mallusk sorting office walked out in solidarity with their colleagues, bringing deliveries in the city almost to a halt.
Management rejected an offer from the striking posties to deliver 11 plus exam results on Saturday 4 of February and immediately reinstate the strike - instead Royal Mail brought in 50 managers to do the deliveries.
The workers are demanding an independent review of managements' tactics and disciplinary procedures; the management say they will only negotiate once they have returned to work; something the CWU has ordered them to do.
In fighting against bullying management and a timid union bureaucracy, the Belfast postal workers are standing up for themselves, for each other and for all working people and bring Catholic and Protestant workers together in common struggle. On 7 February even Ireland On Line's Business news stated that the "Communications Workers Union has condemned the wildcat strike, but both Protestant and Catholic postmen are ignoring the union's leadership and standing shoulder-to-shoulder in an otherwise fiercely divided city."
Updates and stories on libcom.org news
- 23 Feb: Belfast postal workers consider official strike over victimisation
- 17 Feb: Belfast post wildcat strikers win! Report and brief analysis
- 17 Feb: Striking workers are holding firm for confirmation they will not be victimised or face legal action for the action
- 17 Feb: Media reports that the strike is expected to be called off today. CWU holding branch meeting at midday
- 16 Feb: Belfast post wildcat could be over within hours
- 14 Feb: Postal workers discuss offer from Royal Mail to use independent conciliators to improve future relationships between management and union members
- 14 Feb: 1,000 march in support of the postal strike
- 12 Feb: Support our posties - Belfast march and rally 14th February
- 10 Feb: BBC news reports that Royal Mail has made an offer, suggesting a third party should help facilitate talks with the CWU about ways to improve industrial relations
- 10 Feb: Don't believe the bosses' propaganda - Belfast Telegraph opinion piece
- 9 Feb: Police called to Belfast posties' picket line; CWU again repudiates the action
- 7 Feb: CWU orders striking posties back to work
- 7 Feb: Catholics and protestants unite as postal workers rally crosses Belfast peaceline
- 6 Feb: Update: Royal Mail bosses attempt to deliver legal threats to four workers
- 4 Feb: Belfast postal wildcat escalates
- 3 Feb: Striking postal workers join picket for Joanne Delaney
- 31 Jan: Belfast postal workers launch wildcat strike