Postal workers wildcat in Swindon

Striking postal workers
Striking postal workers

More than 500 workers walk out over the transfer of prominent strikers to elsewhere in the company.

Submitted by Joseph Kay on August 8, 2007

The strike at the Hawksworth sorting office lasted two hours until the CWU union persuaded the strikers to return to work. They were angry that two collegues who had taken an active part in the ongoing national strikes were being transferred to another area.

CWU rep Chris Rye said: "they [Royal Mail managers] were personally pointing out people who had been on strike. This wasn't a union-led walkout though. It was led by the workers. There wasn't even a union rep there at the time... The union managed to get them back to work."

The union-borkered deal saw bosses agree that other staff could also be transferred with the original two. Mr Rye said that tensions were running high at the office as bosses insist on unpaid overtime to clear the backlogs caused by the strike (effectively asking workers to break their own strike, for free):

"Royal Mail have tried to put this latest walkout down to us, but they started it. There are 200 bags of mail that haven't gone out today. On Saturday there were 225 special deliveries that didn't go out. We were willing to take them but they wouldn't pay the overtime for us to do it."

He continued: "they have [also] changed the times of our starts and finishes."