Circular sent by CWU branch chair Dave Chappel
Bridgwater Royal Mail dispute: thank you from 110 strikers for your financial support and picket-line solidarity!
Our next four days of strike action are this Saturday August 10th, Monday August 12th, Saturday August 17th, Monday August 19th: please continue your support!
110 members at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset, having already taken 5 days of strike action, are now embarking on another four days of strikes with the possibility of a whole week at the beginning of September.
The original issues are still with us and unresolved: un-agreed cuts to full-time jobs and overtime; failure to negotiate with the union; failure to pay money for previous savings; too many and too many bullying managers.
Royal Mail, unlike many previous legal official and unofficial strikes at Bridgwater, are digging in and refusing to consider reasonable compromises.
In the last few weeks, in between strikes, many local agreements have been ripped up and CWU members increasingly harassed. CWU Reps have been moved from work areas, isolated, and banned from the office on their days off. Postmen and women have been spied on, followed, harangued by three managers at a time for ‘breaking off’ or being too slow, until they break down or go sick.
To complete the hypocrisy, the senior manager remains in charge and un-suspended despite allegations of signing for and opening a Special Delivery letter addressed to a postman who is taking out a bullying and harassment charge against him!
There is a strong feeling in the Delivery Office that the employer is trying to provoke a wildcat walk out on a carefully-chosen issue that might split the office. We ARE trying to keep it legal.
What has restored morale and determination is the magnificent response to the Bridgwater Dispute Fund Appeal, both within the Communication Workers’ Union and the wider trade union movement.
Over twenty trades unionists from a dozen unions have addressed our Friarn St picket lines which run from 5am to 9am: ‘solidarity hour’ is between 8am and 9am. Our next four strikes are Saturday 10th August, Monday 12th August, Saturday 17th August, and Monday 19th August. See you there! Royal Mail, 25 Friarn St, TA6 3XX
A CWU Rep from the dispute or our Bristol Branch is always available to speak at trade union branch meetings, while financial solidarity-as well as picket-line speakers-is as vital as ever. Please make any cheques payable to ‘Bridgwater Trades Union Council’ and send to Dave Chapple, CWU, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU tel. 0777 6304 276 [email protected]