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I am a front-line postal worker: here's why I am going on strike

25 Oct 2019, 07:58 ... ing-strike

WHEN I started the job 20 years ago I used to love coming to work. We had time to get things done, the camaraderie was fantastic, we were firmly embedded in the communities we served and alongside all this — we got the job done.

After privatisation we have slowly but surely started to see the difference. Not a second to spare each day, no time to spend with our customers, an increase in pressure from management, and subsequently, more strike action locally.

I want to get two things across. Firstly a message to my colleagues and secondly one to the public.

To my colleagues: I ask you to seriously think about where we would be without the union. I have set out above some of the changes that have already taken place — but we know that all that stands between us and an Amazon style of pay, terms and conditions is the CWU.

My office has been fantastic during this and every dispute I have been involved in. We know what is at stake. We will not idly stand by as the job we love is ripped to pieces by a CEO who is still counting his £5.8m “golden hello” and a board assembled for their union-busting qualities.

Postal workers are too proud to bow down. We realise this isn’t just a fight for us but for all workers. Our 76 per cent turnout and stunning 97.1 per cent yes vote has sent a ray of hope through the movement.

Almost every day now we are seeing Royal Mail propaganda films showing us how much business we will lose through strike action. We as workers take this very seriously and we are not naive. We also know though the greater threat comes with doing nothing.

If we stand by and let Royal Mail implement their “cost of everything and value of nothing” strategy then our jobs are gone — and the service we provide goes with it. This is why strike action has been called. Supporting it isn’t an option — it’s a necessity.

This is where I turn to the public. I know noise around peak-time and Christmas strikes are unnerving, but I also ask you to think about your local postman or postwoman. These are the people who have delivered your birthday cards, have seen your children grow up and check on your elderly relatives. We need your support more than ever. Even something as simple as a “good luck” in the street means the world to us.

It is not just in Royal Mail but across Britain that we have reached a crossroads with the balance of forces between workers and bosses. Look at the steel industry, look at Thomas Cook and think of the horrific conditions for gig-economy workers.

Enough is enough. This union and the workers are ready to call time on this culture. We cannot do it alone though. Write to your MP, follow us on social media, ask your postie about the dispute.

We have a vision of a community company, delivering new products and services and taking the time, in a society which is stretched to the limits, to simply ask after you.

This employer is hell bent on taking us on. Make no mistake though, with your support we will make sure we save our jobs and just as importantly your service.

Stand by your postal worker. We rise again.

Alastair Sinclair is a postal worker at West Park Delivery Office in Plymouth.

I am a front-line postal worker: here’s why I am going on strike

25 Oct 2019, 16:50

Well said

I am a front-line postal worker: here’s why I am going on strike

25 Oct 2019, 22:18

Good luck to you Alastair and all colleagues who have the courage and nerve to save not only your jobs but also your self respect. What is annoying and has always been the case is that the 28% that did not even cast their vote will reap the rewards of any success that you achieve. I can remember the strikes during the 2012 modernisation plans. I was in a small sub office of 9 delivery staff and the only one who withdrew my labour, yet the other eight who lost no pay received the same rewards. What they did not receive was self respect and for me that meant more than the pay that I lost. I walked in to that sub office with my head held high while others could barely look up because of embarrassment.

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