– Rob Wells contributed with additional reporting.
University of Lincoln students visited striking workers outside the Royal Mail postal depot on Firth Road on Friday, October 23rd. The workers welcomed the support from the roughly ten students, who were eager to support them in their dispute with Royal Mail bosses.
Across the country, nearly 80,000 postal workers across the country went on strike on the 23rd. Up to 42,000 sorting centre staff and drivers walked out the day before.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says changes by Royal Mail will force workers to endure intolerable workloads, and that Royal Mail have broken promises on jobs, pay, and working terms and conditions.
Dec Akroyd, the first student to turn up, said: “It’s important to support every public service and defend workers rights.”
CWU rep David Burnett said it felt “really good” to see students turning up to support them, and that he would “be encouraging postal workers from Lincoln to support Students’ Union campaigns”.
Mr Burnett was pleased with how the strike had gone, and said: “Top drawer. We’ve had about 25 to 30 workers turn up, as well as all locals and students showing their support. I’m very pleased with it.”
Another student, Rich Banks, said: “We underestimate the amount of effort postmen use in order to do the job. If we don’t support them now, the service will rapidly get worse.”
Though the last national strikes took place in 2007, Lincoln postal workers went on an unofficial strike in March over health and safety concerns.
CWU members voted by 3 to 1 in favour of the current strikes, with over two-thirds of the union’s total workers voting. Dave Ward, the CWU’s deputy general secretary, says that the decision to strike was “a huge vote of no confidence in Royal Mail management.”
The government and Royal Mail bosses say that the changes are part of “modernising” the service, but Mr Ward says: “Royal Mail has never really engaged in modernisation. They’ve been running down the business [and] running down services.”Tweet