[Text of the leaflet issued by SP members in Belfast and at the Mallusk post office depots. Added online, Feb. 7th 2006 , SP. ]

Hundreds of postal workers have been forced to stage a walk-out and remain on strike against bullying by Royal Mail management.

This strike comes after a long-running campaign of intimidation by management against postal workers. After several complaints from union representatives to senior management, postal workers rights were ignored. The fault for the disruption lays completely with Royal Mail management. In a marvellous display of solidarity, North Belfast postal workers were joined on the picket line by fellow workers serving West and South Belfast as well as workers who deal with returned mail. The Socialist Party is calling on all to stand with postal workers in their fight for respect at work and end to being treated like slaves.

It is in the interests of all workers that postal workers force management to back down from their tyrannical methods. Employers in other sectors will be encouraged to take a similar approach if Royal Mail management get their way. It is also an attack on the right of workers to organise in trade unions to defend their rights. That is why it is important that every effort is made for East Belfast postal workers to join with those workers on strike. This would increase the pressure on management. The wider trade union movement also needs to publicly speak out against Royal Mail management and organise solidarity involving other groups of workers.

Threat of Privatisation

It is not only postal workers who are facing an increasingly aggressive attack on their working conditions. Peter Hain and the rest of the New Labour Direct-rule Ministers have launched a vicious attack on working class people. The introduction of the hated water charges, massive increases in rates, privatisation of public services (including Royal Mail), closure of hospitals and schools, and job cuts are just some of the attacks facing workers. What is urgently needed is a fighting and democratic trade union movement, controlled by the members, which can take on the Government and employers. But a political alternative is also needed - a socialist alternative which unites workers against the attacks from employers and the Government.

Join the Socialist Party

There is an urgent need for a political alternative to New Labour and the right-wing sectarian parties who are responsible for attacking working class people’s living conditions. The Socialist Party is active in the trade unions, building the We Won’t Pay Camapign against water charges, and organising young people through Socialist Youth. If you agree with our ideas and want to fight back against the Government and employers attacks, join us today.

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