Exeter: second postal strike threatened

Management persecution prompts talk of further walkouts just days after an agreement was reached to return to work.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on September 8, 2006

Previous libcom.org coverage: 1 2 3.

Royal Mail management have begun disciplinary action against 25 staff alleging a "number of incidents of inappropriate and unlawful behaviour" during the recent 5-day unofficial walkout that was itself triggered by disciplinary action against a union official over his sick leave. This has fuelled speculation that there is a nationwide strategy of provocation to shift the balance of power between bosses, unions and workers following a string of unofficial actions accross the country.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) is trying to assume control of the situation, calling a meeting to discuss whether to ballot for an official strike. The CWU is said to fear legal action by Royal Mail if its members stage another wildcat. Provisions under Thatcherite anti-worker laws provide for the sequestration of union funds if they are involved in unnoffical or 'unlawful' actions by workers. A secondary picket at Exeter airport last week which delayed postal movements through there was labelled 'unlawful by management.