Walter Jakob Wolfgang, 23 June 1923 to 28 May 2019, was a German-born British socialist and peace activist. He was Vice-President and Vice Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament up to the time of his death, and a supporter of the Stop the War Coalition.
by a postal worker
pretend that the scars on your knuckles come from boxing, not letterboxes
make out that the pains in your neck are just age, the snaps in your knees,
the feet worn rough by work shoes slanted at heels, soles like a burst couch,
front up that you’ll not get a pension anyway, you’ll be dead by 65,
kid on that nine miles, five hours in rain or sun doesn’t shatter you,
you’re not flat out on the sofa by four, you don’t panic with six door2door,
you don’t sweat in an orange coat, you drink water on your round,
you get by on more than two biscuits in an eight hour shift humping 20 kilo bags
up streets, laden with packets that need scanned and signed for
at doors that never open, being snapped at by dogs and junkies and dole wallahs,
that you never need a piss, that you brave a mid-week curry,
you’re not arsed that the holiday book is full, that you have to carry lapsing,
that the Chief Exec is on eight figures and you don’t need a raise,
that shareholder’s profits are more important than you, that you can’t go on strike
as your parents voted blue.
Postal workers may soon have to take industrial action to defend themselves. Dave Ward, General Secretary of the Comunication Workers Union, said this:
More than ever before, postal workers are under relentless pressure to work faster and cheaper. In local offices, resources are stretched to breaking point and delivery rounds just keep getting longer and later. This is a direct result of chaotic management planning and the wholly unrealistic efficiency targets our members are subjected to.
Yet far from being rewarded for their efforts, their terms and conditions are under attack. From April next year Royal Mail Group will be slashing pensions, leaving many postal workers tens of thousands of pounds worse off in retirement.
Their pay is being frozen while living costs continue to rise. And increasingly Royal Mail is viewing part-time, temporary and insecure employment practices that should have been consigned to the Victorian era, as the model for the future.
'As part of a drawing project I had to draw a view from a window. Security allowed me to do this but I was not allowed to draw the wall. I decided to replace it with the lines to the outline of the wall, following the rules, but still getting the feel of looking out from a prison.'
- Anon, HMP Kirklevington Grange.