Appeal from Bridgwater CWU – RE: Bridgwater Delivery Office Official Dispute – Financial Support Needed

Dear Colleagues,

110 CWU Members out of 120 Postal Workers at Bridgwater Delivery office are currently under severe attack from Royal Mail. They have taken five days strike action so far, following a 79.3% “Yes” vote.

The main issues are Royal Mail’s un-agreed implementation of a drastic summer savings plan, allegations about bullying and a “Performance Management” regime and refusal to pay monies owed for mail sequencing savings. These issues have involved Royal Mail selectively breaking both Local and National Agreements with the CWU.

Local representatives, officials from the Bristol & District Amalgamated Branch, CWU Divisional Representatives and Bob Gibson National CWU Officer have attempted to come to an acceptable compromise agreement, including substantial summer only savings, only to be rebuffed by the employer.

Meanwhile Bridgwater CWU reps Darren Granter, Dave Chapple, CWU Committee Members and Striking Postal Workers are allegedly being harassed on a daily basis. There is a feeling that this is to try and provoke wildcat walkouts in order to weaken the official balloted action. Furthermore, CWU members have complained of being watched during their deliveries, during grace breaks, and at gate meetings with officials, and even at a toilet cubicle. They have had overtime denied for spurious reasons and been summarily taken off their delivery. Also some new temporary contracts staff feel they are being placed under severe pressure to attend work on strike days.

Attendances on the Bridgwater picket lines have been excellent and have ranged from 35 up to 70 people; the memberships’ continued solidarity has shocked Royal Mail. Consequently, the CWU and wider trade union movement cannot afford to stand by in the light of the Con-Dem Government’s privatisation attempts and let the strong CWU membership at Bridgwater Delivery Office be starved back to work.

Further strikes are planned to continue the pressure on Royal mail to negotiate a fair settlement for Postal Workers. Therefore to assist workers who are involved in this protracted dispute please can you help and ensure that you give all you can to the official “Bridgwater Delivery Office Dispute Fund” this will keep morale to a maximum during the next crucial few weeks.

Please can you make out cheques to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to: Dave Chapple (CWU), 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU.

You can also send messages of support to Dave Chapple at [email protected] or telephone 07776304276, or contact Dave Wilshire, Branch Secretary, CWU Bristol & District Amalgamated Branch at [email protected] or telephone 07909525740

Finally, we are requesting speakers from the Trade Union Movement and supporters of the Postal Workers to contact Dave Chapple to make arrangements to attend picket lines and for CWU reps to speak at your meetings

Kevin Beazer Dave Wilshire Chris Webb (South West Regional Secretary, Bristol & District branch Secretary, Divisional Representative respectively)