Australia Post workers support campaign to reinstate London bus driver David O’Sullivan

A meeting on Sunday of the Postal Workers Rank and File Committee in Australia unanimously supported a resolution in defence of David O’Sullivan, who has been persecuted for defending worker’s rights to health and safety in their workplace.

O’Sullivan was sacked after he sounded the alarm at the Cricklewood bus garage in London over the spread of the coronavirus infection. Metroline management and the Unite union responded to this courageous stand by sacking O’Sullivan, who has been a London transport worker for more than three decades.

The participants at the meeting had read the appeal published on the World Socialist Web Site last week and pledged to provide whatever support and resources are needed to get O’Sullivan reinstated. After passing the resolution several Australia Post workers made statements in support of the campaign.

The meeting passed the following resolution:

The Postal Workers Rank and File committee demands the immediate re-instatement of David O’Sullivan, that he be paid for all loss of wages and entitlements. We resolve to provide whatever resources we can for David O’Sullivan in his legal appeal against his sacking in the fight for his reinstatement.

We condemn the spineless refusal of the Unite union to defend O’Sullivan and denounce their participation in his sacking. We call on all UK workers and workers around the world to support O’Sullivan. We recognise the attack by management on him is an attack on all of us, which must be opposed.

Jim Franklin, Australia Post worker and member of the rank and file committee

I want to express my full support for David O’Sullivan and the courageous stand he has taken against the murderous policies of the Metroline bus company and the Tory government.

O’Sullivan has taken a stand for all workers who now face the prospect of going to work to feed their families and run the very high risk of contracting a deadly virus or refuse and face disciplinary action and sackings.

This is not a choice! For speaking up and taking action to protect his family and his co-workers, the bosses, with the complete support of the Unite union, have deliberately attacked a worker who was well within his rights to protect himself and fellow workers from danger.

Many workers have already died or become infected in the bus service in the UK and the response of the companies and the union is to do everything in their power to hide this, to keep workers on the job and profits flowing.

As a postal worker in Australia, we were subjected to the same processes. The company, with the support of the unions, used the pandemic as the opportunity to introduce restructuring and prepare an assault on our conditions of work. They were more concerned with maintaining their profits than our health and safety.

In order to fight this, we formed a rank-and-file committee just like O’Sullivan and his co-workers did. They have taken a stand and must not be left to fight on their own!

A blow against one is a blow against all and this attack on O’Sullivan must be defeated. We will do everything we can to support and fight for David O’Sullivan.

Matthew, Australia Post worker and member of the rank-and-file committee

As a member of the Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee in Sydney, I add my voice in support of the victimised London bus driver David O’Sullivan and call on other workers to do likewise.

David’s sacking after 30 years of service is an outrageous attack set up by the Unite Union and executed by management. In the face of 60 Covid-19 deaths of London bus drivers his courageous stand on calling for independent working-class action in defence of health and lives earned him the vitriol of the union leadership whose stated position is to have “no position” on the pandemic or force the return to work. Having abandoned workers to the Johnson government’s “herd immunity” agenda they then target any opposition to the ruling classes' sociopathic policy.

This case highlights the need for workers to take matters into their own hands as well as their lives and future. It cannot be outsourced to any third party.

John, another Australia Post worker and member of the rank-and-file committee

I cannot find words that express strongly enough how outrageous it is that David O’Sullivan was sacked after he sought to alert his fellow workers to the spread of COVID-19 at his workplace. He did this under the Employment Rights Act, demanding his right, and that of his co-workers, to a safe workplace. This makes clear that all these laws are window dressing, and the working class needs to mobilise itself to defend its rights. David was victimized because he was providing that leadership to his work mates.

The fact the Unite union opposed the walkout and gave evidence against David to the company’s disciplinary hearing is a real betrayal. It demonstrates that the unions have become nothing more than company policemen in the workplace.

I also demand that David be reinstated and compensated for all the costs of previous losses, and that he be restored with all his legal rights without further sanctions.

Click here to find out more and join the campaign for David O’Sullivan’s reinstatement. You can donate to O’Sullivan’s legal defence here.