Breaking the law: victory for Bridgwater wildcats!

Andrew Mootoo, (centre) with pickets

Andrew Mootoo, (centre) with pickets

When Bridgwater Royal Mail victimised a disabled worker, his colleagues walked out; no ballots, no bureaucracy, just solidarity.  Andrew Mootoo, is deaf and suffers from severe MS, and management have come up with a stream of ridiculous excuses for keeping him off work for 18 months against his will. He might get stuck in the bog, they said, and anyway they’ve commandeered his rest room for disciplinaries. When Andrew passed a fitness for work test, they changed the test, and used a faulty chair.

80 posties went on strike the day after the government’s anti-union bill received its second reading, showing their plans to chain the working class will come to nought so long as we stick together. The management have backed down and assured the workers that they will sit down with Mootoo and reach a resolution. Watch this space to make sure they do!

CWU rep Dave Chapple said it was remarkable that 98% of staff had walked out (without legal protection) in solidarity with someone they haven’t seen for 18 months, and that he has received over 200 emails of support from fellow trade unionists and disabled people. Royal Mail are now threatening to discipline him for breaking their rules – good luck with that.

So if the bosses are taking the piss, just get together and walk the fuck out – you don’t need a vote if you have consensus. Together we win!

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Bridgwater Wildcat walkout for postman and MS Sufferer smashes Tory anti-union laws!

Wessex Solidarity wholeheartedly supports Bridgwater Wildcat Postal Strike in aid of worker sacked for his disability. Reinstate Andrew Mootoo immediately!


80 Royal Mail postmen and women at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset defied the Tory anti-union laws today when they walked out without a ballot to protest at Royal Mail’s refusal to reinstate Andrew Mootoo, a postman who suffers from MS/Multiple Sclerosis. Andrew has been waiting so long for Royal Mail to support his return to work that his pay has been stopped and he has to rely on benefits.

Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, said:

“Most decent employers would do their best to try and get a disabled worker like Andrew Mootoo off benefits and back to work on a properly adjusted duty. Instead, for 18 months, since MS was diagnosed, Royal Mail, nationally and locally, have tried every dirty trick in their book to get Andrew the sack and reduce him to a lifetime of benefits dependency. 18 months ago they tried to sack him. We stopped that by proving they would have acted illegally. Then Royal Mail tested Andrew back at work: when he passed this with flying colours, they invented a new test, which they ensured he would fail, for example, by deliberately using a faulty chair! The last straw is Royal Mail saying that Andrew has no rest room for his meal break, because it is in continuous use by managers for disciplinary purposes; and that his MS means he will get stuck in the toilet. What offensive rubbish from the country’s second largest employer! Justice for MS sufferers at work! Justice for Andrew Mootoo!”

Andrew, who is of Indo-Mauritian parents and who is also profoundly deaf, lives a full life: he drives a car, shops, goes to sport matches, goes shopping, walks down busy high streets, goes to the gym once a week, all without falling over, getting stuck in a toilet or endangering anyone else. All Andrew’ s friends at Bridgwater Delivery Office want, is for Royal Mail to sit down and give him a chance to come off the dole and work for his living, as he wants to do. The work is there. The CWU have even accepted that Andrew could return on a monitored trial basis. Every reasonable compromise CWU offer to Royal Mail has been spurned: every patient CWU plea to Royal Mail to give Andrew a chance has been ignored. 80 Bridgwater trades unionists are right now, a day after the Tory Anti-Union Bill passed the House of Commons, breaking these vicious laws to fight for workplace justice for a severely disabled and much respected colleague. They, and Andrew, deserve your support.

Please contact Dave Chapple, CWU Rep, on 077007 869 144,  e-mail davechapple@btinternet.com

Radical Workers’ Bloc at Tolpuddle 2015 report.

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Pic by courtesy DeGruchy photography

We pitched our tents on Friday as usual and our comrades from Sussex set up their Wob kitchen which fed our bloc, friends and guests excellent veggie food all weekend. The severed heads of Cameron, IDS, Gove, Farage and Osbourne adorned our camp. The evening’s entertainment was memorable for Funke and the two tone baby, and the Tuts, among others.

Bit of a surprise on Saturday when we took our stall to find, amongst the assorted lefties and worthies, like a log in a swimming pool, Bournemouth Action for Israel, who showed extraordinary chutzpah by promoting that rogue state and its genocidal behaviour during the first anniversary of the last Gaza massacre, in which it slaughtered two and a half thousand civilians of whom sixty percent were children. They were repeatedly taken to task by festival-goers, some of whom were in Gaza during the atrocity, and a steady stream of punters approached the organisers to complain. On Sunday morning the Zionists bowed to pressure and left peacefully. We fail to see what connection this group, which appears to be linked with a propaganda hub in the United States, and to be lavishly funded, has to do with working class culture or workers’ associations, it doesn’t even represent the working class of Israel, let alone that of Dorset. What it represents is the military-industrial hegemony of Western imperialism that has brought the entire region to ruin. A glance at their facebook page will reveal the disdain they have for our class; their mission was solely to counter the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Should we perhaps invite the hunt lobby to counter the sabs, the CBI to counter the anti-blacklist campaign, or fracking companies to counter Greenpeace? No doubt Monsanto, Lockheed Martin, G4S and Halliburtons would gladly fork out sixty quid for a stall.

It was great to see supporters of the Save Kingfisher and SCBU campaign, and Lesbians and Gay men Support the Miners on Sunday’s march. See you next year!

Open Letter to BBC South Today from Palestine Solidarity Campaign

 

Pic by Stef.

Pic by Stef.

Tributes to Pavlos Fyssas 21/09/13.

All over the world this Saturday, solidarity demo’s and pickets were held in support of Greek antifa and to pay tribute to our fallen comrade, 34 yr old anti-fascist Pavlos Fyssas who was ambushed and assassinated in front of  the police by uniformed members of Golden Dawn. Here are a couple from our area.

Swindon Radical bookfair:

Swindon antifa

Portsmouth Antifascists:

Portsmouth antifa

Bridgwater Summer 2013 Royal Mail-CWU dispute Final meeting! Sunday 8th September 2013.

5pm, Sunday 8th September Blake Arms, 9 Penel Orlieu, TA6 3PF

The final meeting of our dispute is open to all Bridgwater CWU members, families, and ALL our supporters. It is intended to achieve three things:

1. A full discussion, with guest speakers, as to what the future holds for us, locally and nationally
2. The final donation per striker from the dispute fund-a tangible thanks to all of us who remained steadfast
3. A chance for us to thank all those local friends, families, as well as CWU members and other trades unionists from further afield

We have sustained what is possibly-that epic Burslem struggle apart- the longest and most bitter official strike in a Royal Mail Delivery Office for 20 years. We owe a huge debt to all those who have supported our picket lines and dispute fund, without which we would probably have been defeated by our determined and powerful employer. This is our last chance to thank those supporters personally, so please do your best to attend a memorable occasion!

Definitely undefeated!

Dave Chapple 0777 6304 276 E-mail

“Definitely undefeated!” Bridgewater dispute final press release.

After nine days of strike action postal workers at the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Friarn Street Bridgwater have voted to end their summer-long dispute about oppressive managers and working conditions.

This follows a mass meeting of workers last night where a proposed agreement was endorsed by a 3:1 majority.

Bristol CWU Branch Secretary David Wilshire said:

“Following lengthy and difficult negotiations an agreement has been accepted that places the Union back at the centre of all decisions that are made in Royal Mail Bridgwater. Crucially it states that future changes will not be made until agreement is reached. In addition Royal Mail must realise that unless the management of the office seriously improves in the near future more disputes are inevitable.”

On the basis of the vote taken yesterday evening the planned week of strike action that was scheduled to take place for a week commencing 9 September 2013 has been cancelled.

Dave Chapple, Bristol CWU Branch Chair and Bridgwater Rep said:

“110 postmen and women have sustained what is possibly – that epic Burslem struggle apart – the longest and most bitter official dispute in a Royal Mail Delivery Office for 20 years. What were we up against? First, up to 150 Royal Mail managers breaking our every picket line; second, our so-called free country’s laws that makes solidarity strikes illegal. Had it not been for the amazing financial support from CWU Branches and other trades unionists nationwide, we would have struggled. Thanks to all those who supported us, we remain defiant and definitely undefeated!”

Ends.

For further information please contact :

David Wilshire on 07909 525740

or Dave Chapple on 0777 6304 276  E-mail

Radical events this weekend.

Absolutely no excuse for sitting on your arse watching ‘talent’ shows and Yankee pig operas, get out and meet some fellow radicals!

If you’re going to either the AFN or Freedom event, please look in and support the other as well, it’s only a couple of minutes walk each way, it’s all the same firm innit!

Resistance to racism and fascism in the East end - AFNAnarcho-folk festival @ Freedombugle Bridport film benefit for Bridgwater postal strikers