NEWS & LETTERS, May 2004

UK postal workers on wildcat strike

Oxford, England--Postal workers have been on wildcat strike in Oxford. The strike, which as of the beginning of April is now into its third week, is a protest against bullying and intimidation by one manager and a small group of workers allied with him. This group is made up of Asians, but other Asian workers who are not part of this clique are supporting the strike.

One postal worker reported she had witnessed a colleague, who is a Rastafarian, assaulted by one of the group. She has heard them express support for Al Qaeda. Strikers have been threatened, including being asked which schools their children go to.

The strike has had a significant impact on the local economy, with millions of items of mail held up.

According to the local press, management has now agreed to disperse the group, but is insisting that they will impose an overtime ban as a penalty on the strikers. As I know from my own days at the Post Office, many postal workers rely on overtime to boost their earnings, and of course now they are suffering from lost wages during the strike.

--Richard Bunting

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