It is clear that the dispute in Royal Mail is a crucial one for all of us.
We have had some important successes in a number of disputes including Visteon, Linamar, Lindsey/construction and Tower Hamlets College. These have started to raise the confidence of workers to resist efforts to make us pay for the consequences of a recession triggered by the greed and irresponsibility of the rich and powerful.
What's happening at Royal Mail is qualitatively different. It's not just that the scale is so much bigger. The media onslaught against the CWU is full of class hatred, almost reminiscent of the 1980s. Whereas in a number of other disputes management seem to have been caught on the hop, in this case there has been a massive level of preparation by the employer and a systematic management organised scabbing operation on a scale not seen for years.
None of this means the CWU can't win. The postal workers are a powerful group, and well organised. But the movement can ill afford to repeat the mistakes of the 1980s by allowing employers to pick us off one at a time to demoralise the rest. Imagine trying to argue for action in your workplace if the CWU had been smashed and the Tories elected. Or imagine the boost in confidence your workmates could have if we all helped the posties beat off these attacks from their overpaid bosses.
The CWU have produced a collection sheet. Every trade unionist should be taking it round their friends and workmates and visiting picket lines to show solidarity. We should be helping to set up solidarity groups should be springing up in every town and city. Building solidarity won't just help the posties win - it will make us all stronger.