The Politics and Consciousness of Postal Workers
This chapter considers the political traditions of the postal workers' collective organisation since the 1970s. It examines the impact of striking on consciousness, before assessing members' and activists' consciousness in general. The chapter assesses the relationship between branches, the national union and members. The relationship between branches and members is one where members display high degrees of loyalty to, and dependence upon, branch leaderships, and particularly branch secretaries, branch chairs and area reps. The chapter analyses key formations such as the Postal Executive Committee (PEC), divisional reps, branches, full-time officials (FTOs) and annual conferences, and their relationship with each other, and evaluates the internal election process. It examines issues of intra-union formations, particularly those of the left, and assesses the politics and political-industrial consciousness of postal workers. A key issue in examining intra-union groupings is their relationship with members vis-a-vis leading and/or reflecting members' concerns.