In an encouraging display of solidarity, Royal Mail workers at the Bootle and Seaforth delivery office have walked out and started a strike after a manager allegedly made a racist comment towards one of their Muslim colleagues. Hundreds of workers have been on strike, which is reportedly continuing onto its third day since it began on Wednesday morning.
Postal workers formed a picket line outside their site on the Trinity Industrial Estate, joined by CWU union members. Speaking to the Socialist Woker, one member of the strike explained:
We stand up for one another, that’s the rule here. We are not going to let managers use any sort of attacks to weaken us. There are people from different backgrounds here but we are all workers and trade union members and we know to stick together or we’re lost. I don’t want to go back working with a manager who stands accused of racism. Racism is something for trade unions to take up and oppose.”
The victim of the racist comments was apparently “very upset“, according to his co-workers, and has gone on compassionate leave. Although there has not of yet been any statement towards what the Royal Mail has done in regards to addressing the manager or the victim of the alleged racist remarks, workers and trade union members continue to vocally support their colleague and denounce any sort of racism in the workplace.
A spokesperson for the Royal Mail has issued an apology to the public over delayed postal services, however has not addressed the specific racist incident that happened in Merseyside. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, the Royal Mail stated:
Royal Mail is disappointed that unballoted industrial action is continuing at Bootle and Seaforth delivery office. We sincerely apologise to customers in these areas for any disruption to their mail services. Royal Mail is committed to a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, where our colleagues feel respected and able to thrive.”
This inspiring move by Royal Mail workers and trade unionists stands as an important reminder of solidarity in times where Islamophobia and racism seems to be used at all levels with little or no repercussions. Despite potential backlash from their management, these workers continue to strike, showcasing the strength of community commitments towards fighting injustice at all levels.