Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 June 2013

Action needed to stop Royal Mail sell-off

A postal worker, Royal Mail

Workers in Royal Mail have finally had a say on privatisation, after years of listening to MPs tell us what's best for us and the services we deliver. 96% said "no!" to privatisation in a consultative ballot run by our union, CWU.

99% support the union's pay claim for an above-inflation rise for at least two years, backdated to April 2013. 92% support non-cooperation with the employer over unmanageable workloads and unachievable budgets. 92% support a boycott of competitor's mail, in an effort to highlight the unfair nature of competition, which will ultimately erode the Universal Service Obligation. 96% oppose privatisation.

The near unanimous opposition of workers to privatisation, and on a 74% turnout, shows that CWU members are up for a real fight to protect our jobs, conditions and the services we deliver.

The union leadership shouldn't waste this mandate or allow workers' anger and opposition to dissipate.

We are angry, with ever increasing workloads, bullying and harassment. We want action now to stop attacks on our jobs, which will of course only get worse under privatisation.

The starting gun on the latest attempt to privatise Royal Mail was fired by Labour, ten years ago. They allowed private companies to come in, cherry pick our most profitable work and dump the mail onto us for delivery.

Today 45% of all the mail we deliver is competitors' mail, although since the passage of the Postal Services Act (which paves the way for privatisation), we can now charge a 'market' rate, bringing in 80 million last year.

The boycott of such mail (termed Downstream Access or DSA mail) which 92% of us supported in the ballot, is being challenged in court by Royal Mail, with an injunction being sought on 28 June.

Following on from Labour's disastrous introduction of 'competition', Labour minister Lord Mandelson said in 2008 that 50% of Royal Mail would be sold, citing the Hooper Report, which identified the historic pension fund deficit as a problem for the company.

But this arose because of the 'payment holiday' RM took for 13 years, while workers continued to pay in.

This resulted in the closure of our final salary pensions scheme in 2010, when we were shunted to an inferior defined benefit scheme.

There remains a lot of anger among workers that we as a union allowed this to happen without a fight.

Our supposedly safe pensions are under threat again. A 60-day consultation period over changes to the latest scheme has just been opened by the company.

The CWU has rejected the proposals and instructed lawyers to look into the legality of them, while yet another round of lobbying MPs will begin.

We will be encouraged to send yet more postcards to MPs telling them that 'they are not selling Royal Mail in our name'.

It's my opinion, and that of many people I work with, that the union's continued engagement in political lobbying of MPs is ineffectual. All the three main parties are in favour of privatisation, in some form or another.

It's only through industrial action that we can force this government to do yet another U-turn. The government wants a sale done by the end of the year. We need to move now.

We need to link up with other public sector unions like PCS, who are in dispute, and coordinate strike action against austerity and privatisation.

Time is short but the mood is good. We need action now. Before it's too late.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 26 June 2013:

Socialist Party news and analysis

Police dirty tricks - a threat to democratic rights

Teachers strike to defend education

Cuts until 2020? We need councils that fight for us!

Jack Straw forced to retract lies about Militant

People's Assembly: Thousands opposing cuts... but leaders sidestep strategy for victory

Farage's tax scandal hypocrisy

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Brazil: A victory for the mass struggle

Socialist Party workplace news

Conference anger with Unison leadership, and Labour

Action needed to stop Royal Mail sell-off

RMT: Fighting casualisation

PCS: members discuss next anti-cuts action

2012 London bus strike victory showed potential for militant union fightback

Having a fine time? Not if you're a courier driver

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Labour council introduces zero-hour contracts

How mental health carers and service users took on Salford council

Bristol council opposes 'bedroom tax' evictions

Lessons for today from an anti-poll tax bailiff buster

Socialist Party review

Deadly long distance weapons of war


Home   |   The Socialist 26 June 2013   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap

triangleCWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes


triangleNasty party out the Tories

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleTories wreck our NHS


triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleWho's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights

triangleManchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation


triangleCWU members prepare for industrial action at Royal Mail

triangleBosses' pensions robbery

Public sector:

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Justice for Tube cleaners demo



Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


Royal Mail

CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike



Carlisle NHS campaigners hand in petition to MP



Don't wreck our rec! Campaigning to save green space in Standish



No more fire deaths - ensure safety now!



Cardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg


John McDonnell

Manchester rally discussed unionisation and nationalisation



Join the Orgreave Halloween rally



Workplace news in brief


Democratic rights

Who's watching who?: The fight for justice, trade union and democratic rights


Northern Ireland

Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs



Too much to cross the Mersey


Royal Mail

Set for national strike action



Supporting the general strike in Catalonia

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice