By Joe Thorne
No, not the postcode gangs that generate periodic moral panics in the mainstream media. We need a new sort of postcode gang: made up of workers and activists who visit the picket lines set up by postal workers as part of their ongoing strikes against cuts in Royal Mail. The next strikes are on Friday 6th and Monday 9th November. Why not take half an hour to go down your local picket line (there is a delivery office for each postcode), find a little out about the dispute and show some solidarity?
In this important dispute building solidarity is vital, and the best basis for solidarity is going to speak with strikers. Other things you can do to help include arranging a speaker for your union branch meeting or workplace, and doing a collection. Get more ideas and a downloadable collection sheet here.
But picket lines aren’t just about speaking to workers. They are also a good place to meet other activists and militant trade unionists who may live or work near you, but who you haven’t met before. These sorts of grassroots connections – local, based on struggle – are the sort we need.
The next two days of strikes represent a necessary escalation, as the union moves beyond strikes staged a week apart. Given Royal Mail’s intransigence, it is likely that further escalation still will be necessary. We should be a position where we are effectively able to organise mass pickets in support of workers, if needed. As a first step, let’s all show solidarity with the more than 100,000 post workers who will be on strike over the next few days. Post reports from your local picket line below.