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(en) Organise! (Ireland) Working Class Resistance - WCR #3 - WILDFIRE WILDCATS!

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Tue, 9 Dec 2003 21:05:50 +0100 (CET)

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News about and of interest to anarchists
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It was a Red October for Royal Mail with two weeks of
wildcat strikes at many post offices and depots across
the UK. Over 25,000 postal workers took direct action
outside the confines of the Communication Workers
Union (CWU) and stuck two fingers up at the bosses.
Royal Mail bosses reacted to this show of strength
with Gestapo type surveillance techniques. However,
the wildcat strikes spread like wildfire through Royal
Mail depots in west and north-west London and then to
outside of the capital. The action is said to have
flared-up at Southall in west London where workers
were livid about aggressive management tactics. The
walkouts spread as people were suspended for such
action as refusing to do the work of people already on
On Tuesday 21st October 400 workers at Dartford
sorting office went on wildcat after a driver was
suspended. More than 100 people continued to maintain
the picket line even after the driver was re-instated.
Also on the 21st about 1,000 workers at Greenford in
west London walked out and workers in West Ealing,
Acton and Kensington and many more places also took
direct action. Up to 100 workers walked-out of the
delivery office in Leyton on 23rd of October. All of
London’s main sorting offices were hit including the
city’s biggest, Mount Pleasant. On the 27th of October
Royal Mail top boss Alan Leighton turned up at a mass
meeting at the Greenford sorting office desperate to
convince workers to get back to the slog. He was
ignored. Roger Baynes, Head of Operations for Royal
Mail appealed to the CWU to do its job of helping to
control workers when he said, “The union tells us it
disowns this wildcat action. Let them prove it by
working with us to get their members back to work”.
Postwatch the so-called “consumer” group helped
illustrate the real role of the unions in this society
when it stated, “The management and unions must regain
control,” or face a “winter of postal discontent”.


On Tuesday 4th November Fire-fighters in Norfolk took
wildcat strike action against a stitch-up two stage
pay “deal”. The strikes spread rapidly throughout the
UK as far as Strathclyde, Grampian, Fife Central,
Lothian and Borders, Derbyshire, Wiltshire,
Nottinghamshire, Humberside, South Yorkshire and
Northern Ireland. The recent strikes show that direct
action against all bosses including those of the
unions is always possible. As one fire-fighter put it
“For workforces everywhere, if something annoys them
enough they take spontaneous unofficial action,” he
said. “It doesn’t matter whether they’re in
Strathclyde or in the Polish shipyards.”
The fire-fighters direct action happened as the unions
at Heathrow airport were preparing to stage a two-day
strike. Bosses in the UK and overseas got a real shock
in the summer after a major wildcat broke out at
Heathrow. Check-in staff and baggage handlers were
enraged at the imposition of the totalitarian
Automated Time Recording system. Now it seems that the
unions are attempting to demonstrate to the bosses and
state that they can police the anger of workers. By
organising two-day official strikes the union can help
take the heat out of the situation and pacify the
workers with minimal disruption in a vital part of the

Welcome to Working Class Resistance. The appearance of
this publication marks the coming together of the
Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation, Anarchist Federation
(Ireland), Anarchist Prisoner Support and a number of
individuals to create a more effective and better
resourced class struggle anarchist organisation across
Ireland. Together we have created a new organisation,
Organise! - Working Class Resistance, with local
groups and individual members across Ireland.

>From the pages of Working Class Resistance, bulletin
of Organise!. To distribute in your area, contact
Organise! at:


PO Box 505
BT12 6BQ

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