Nationwide strike by over 115,000 postal workers in England for wage raise in line with inflation


Report by Kamgar Ekta Committee (KEC) correspondent


Ever so often we get news about the actions of public sector workers in Europe and UK. As in our country, workers in essential services worked throughout the pandemic at grave risk to their lives and many of them died. Now they are being hit hard by rising prices and they are fighting back. Inflation in the UK is 12 percent now and expected to rise to 21 percent next spring, but the pay rises they are offered are measly in comparison, even less than five percent. This means that their standard of living is going down, instead of improving day by day. It is becoming increasingly difficult to put food on the table; pension is becoming increasingly insecure.

The NHS (National Health Service) Confederation had issued a warning that the UK was heading towards “a humanitarian crisis” because of the energy price rises. Already in 2016, long before the pandemic or the Ukraine war had started, the BMJ [British Medical Journal] had attributed 120,000 deaths due to austerity imposed by the British government.

In the face of these attacks, workers in different sectors are uniting across unions and coming out on the streets.

Nearly 120,000 Post Office and Royal Mail employees, represented by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), struck work on August 26, 2022, as wage increase offered was far below soaring inflation. The union leader warned of a “long and bitter dispute” ahead. He also called for solidarity with workers nationwide, as rail staff, dockers, criminal barristers and exam board employees also take industrial action.

This action was supported by workers from other sectors. Rail union, RMT’s head also addressed the lively demonstration, which included campaigners from the National Education Union, the University and College Union, Unison, Equity and Jewish Voice for Labour.

We can see the consciousness of the workers rising from the remarks made by some of them across UK.

“They are trying to kill the job. If you come into Royal Mail now looking for a secure job and secure pension, if they get away with this, you’re coming out with nothing. You’ll be working by the day to see what you can get. I cannot retire. There won’t be enough money in the pension to survive. All security would be gone.”

“The Labour Party are a clone of the Conservative Party. I don’t see many differences. I’ve heard various Labour MPs who are against us striking.”

A worker with several decades experience said, “As the slogan says, ‘Enough is enough’, we can’t carry on like this. We have fat cat bosses making millions and people here will die when the winter comes. Look at Ukraine; they have money for bombs but not money for a pay raise for us. The whole infrastructure, water, rail, post, buses, they all need re-nationalizing. Everything was sold off for next to nothing and now we have CEOs paid millions for failing and we just want a fair share of the wealth.”




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