As we are all aware the last few months have been quite busy for all the cwu reps because of the dispute with Royal mail. Its also been an opportunity to inform and educate members about the importance of the union membership. Many of the BAME members are quite new or part timers, less involved in union activities so they have been quite anxious about the dispute and the looming of strike action. Not always easy but Earnie Orviss, steve Clarke Luke Smith , Austin Goldsmith , Amanda Hill and all the other reps have done good job to explain and get members on board for ‘”yes” vote so well done to all involved ( forgive me for not mentioning everyone’s name’s).
I wrote letter to all the BAME members to inform and invite to raise awareness of the role of BAME issues and current dispute with Royal mail.
I have been trying to find information and to liaise with various minorities groups in Peterborough who stand for common goal of ‘unity and communal harmony’ and to help members where to seek advice if they face any problems.
As I gain my own knowledge and experience of various minorities members who work at Peterborough mail centre I am amazed at the variety of people from interesting diverse backgrounds which I would like to use to enrich the knowledge of wider members. I have faced some issues with lack of (nil) interest shown from senior management apart from weekend maneger Philp Rosier who has shown interest and granted me hour on Saturday for this role.
The information of BAME members is not up to date and confusing which needs to be sorted and mapping.
On 17th of October I went to black workers conference first time as BAME officer in Bristol it was well attended and many important issues, motions were discussed and debated ie the role of BAME should be recognized same as IR frame work. Race Advisory Committee should be given more saying to influence the Union policies. The plight of Royhinga Muslims of Myanmar and local campaign “justice for Judah”( please Google) Mr Judah Adunabi who faced police discrimination were highlighted. The black slave history of the city of Bristol and the current proud diverse communities of Bristol were told by CWU local South West branch Reps, guest speaker Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees (descended of Jamaican slave now first elected black mayor in Europe) and local historian Dr Madge Dresser. RAC members CWU HQ equality officer Linda Roy and CWU general secretary Dave Ward also addressed conference. Dave Ward highlighted the work being carried out for the “redesign” of the union and reflected on shrinking of Royal mail and as a result drop in membership and the effect it’s having on CWU resources. He acknowledged the importance of having different committees ie LGBT, women’s, BAME etc who represents the interests of minority members and make CWU stronger.
Although not enough time but It was an opportunity to get to know other Activists for networking. Unfortunately I couldn’t vote on any motions as I wasn’t holding the voting cards.
I have printed and displayed posters in the mail centre to raise awareness of ‘Hate crime week’ and currently doing some research to display past stories to celebrate ‘Black history month’. Elected or not I shall continue working towards the greater interests of CWU. Many thanks for your support

Jasbir Singh.

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