We’re the 89.1 Per Cent – And ProudPostal, Royal Mail Administrative Grades, Royal Mail Collection Drivers, Royal Mail Customer Experience, Royal Mail Deliveries, Royal Mail Engineers, Royal Mail Finance Operations, Royal Mail Group (EMP), Royal Mail Group Personnel Procedures, Royal Mail Letters November 8 2017
“In my 25 years in this post, I’ve never known such strong support for the union as there is right now,” said Midlands divisional rep Paul Kennedy at the end of the CWU’s National 89.1 per cent And Proud Day .
“From the feedback I’ve had from reps, branch secretaries and members, it’s clear that thousands of our Midlands members been in gate meetings today,” he continued, adding that “we’re all now eagerly awaiting the outcome of the national talks.”
His fellow divisional rep Ian Taylor also had a busy day, holding a meeting at the huge Manchester Mail Centre and hearing from activists right across North West England and North Wales.
“It’s been a good day,” he reported, saying that “people have engaged with their union and the feeling up here is positive towards the union, with members saying the company have to give us the deal we’re looking for.”
Newcastle Amal Branch secretary John Woodhouse and his Doncaster counterpart Steve West reported large numbers of meetings at delivery offices and mail centres around the north east, with John saying that, in his opinion, the mood of the membership is “angrier” and “more up for it” than in the lead-up to the last two national disputes.
“What’s made a difference have been these gate meetings,” he explained, pointing out that at the workplace, all the membership can hear the reps’ updates and this gives a much fuller picture of the real strength and depth of feeling.
Steve said that he “couldn’t have hoped for better today,” which included “fantastic meetings at Doncaster and Goole, and he agreed with John that the situation seemed “a hell of a lot better” now than in the pre-strike periods of 2007 and 2009.
“We didn’t really have the social media back then, so people now are much better informed – and they’re more up for it,” he explained.
Area distribution rep Bobby Ravenall held one of the first meetings of the day at NWDC in Warrington, where the departing night shift joined the arriving early day shift to hear his update, after which Bobby said: “Everyone’s up for it and 100 per cent behind the union.”
Glenn Anckaert, unit rep at Newcastle Under-Lyme Delivery Office, noted that the feedback was “Very good,” with “an excellent response to the meeting from members” and acting unit rep Mark Prime said that the message from members at Rhyl Delivery Office was “stick together and the good thing will come at the end.”
Down in London, acting unit rep Steve Carpenter felt that the Wimbledon workforce had been “lifted” by the morning’s meeting and added: “We’re keeping up the momentum of the campaign,” while in nearby Mitcham, Parcelforce members met at the company’s London South West Depot.
In the north of the capital, the giant Mount Pleasant site hosted its second big event of recent weeks – following October’s big rally – with members gathering to hear from divisional reps Martin Walsh and Mark Palfrey.
Scotland No2 Branch secretary Gary Clark reported staunch support from the big mail centre in the nation’s capital and delivery offices from Stirling to Dunblane and Prestonpans to Grangemouth were among the many, many Scottish units to meet and hear reps’ briefings, with dozens more meetings scheduled.
North Wales and The Marches Branch area delivery rep Sion Harris taught us that “Yn parhau i gefnogi ein undeb 100% Swyddfa Dosbarthu Wrecsam” means: “100% support for the union from Wrexham Distribution” and the same solid message came loud and clear from Porthmadog, Llangefni, Mold/Wyddgrug and many, many other locations.
Down in South West England, regional secretary Kevin Beazer held a well-attended gathering at Bristol’s SEDO and EDO and Bristol Amal Branch secretary Rob Wotherspoon briefed postal workers at the city’s SWDC and other units in the area, with the feedback being that “members totally understand the situation and are really, really up for it.”
From Essex, meetings were reported from offices including Barking, Hornchurch, Romford, Chelmsford – which gave an interesting angle on the day – and others too numerous to mention, while down on the south coast, postal workers in an office near Hastings proved they’re ready to “Battle,” Havant D.O. in Hampshire took a fun photo in their staff canteen and our Oxford members
Eastern No6 had the innovative idea of sending their branch banner around several units, and East Anglia’s North Walsham, Lowestoft and Bungay kept Norfolk and Suffolk’s flags flying.
What a day for the union – from north to south, east to west, big city to small town, CWU Royal Mail members sent out their message nationwide and loud and clear to the company:
“We’re the 89.1 per cent – and we’re rising up for the Four Pillars”