chapter  4
29 Pages

Strikes in Royal Mail: Volumes and Trends

ByGregor Gall

Judged by numbers of strikes, workers involved and days not worked, strike activity in Britain in the 1990s/early 2000s was at its lowest level since records began in 1891. This chapter examines strike activity in RM in a number of ways, assesses RM's overall strike activity between 1980 and 2002, chartings its ebbs and flows, before considering this activity in comparison with that found in other industrial sectors. It recounts the movements in strike activity within RM are identified and explained before the most significant localised strikes and disputes between 1990-2002. The chapter provides one of the first steps in assessing whether postal workers can be considered to be 'militant'. It relates strike action to the issues and processes affecting postal workers, interweaving a narrative of key strikes with a general level of explanation of the context of industrial action, particularly salient micro- and macro- industrial-political processes which formed the terrain on which postal workers' industrial actions were taken.