Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/776/17234
Postal workers ballot for action
The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has decisively rejected government plans to privatise Royal Mail.
Following huge membership support in a consultative ballot for union policy on pay (99%) bullying and harassment (92%) to boycott competitors' mail (92%) and opposition to privatisation (96%), the 500 reps at a CWU conference decided to ballot their 115,000 postal members for industrial action to fight back.
It is expected the ballot will take place by September.
Royal Mail privatisation will mean a worse and more expensive service - with profits coming back not to the taxpayer but to private profiteers - more post office closures and even worse terms and conditions for postal workers.
Royal Mail has offered a pay deal over three years that includes no-strike clauses and ever more pension changes. They continue to harass and bully workers and the CWU.
The last time the postal workers took national action was in 2009 where there were mixed feelings about the results obtained.
One postal worker said: "To counter any resulting reluctance regarding what can be achieved by action, and with Royal Mail management going into propaganda overload, the CWU needs to continue to update workers and in my opinion have workplace meetings and mass rallies.
"Unlike the Tory privatisations of the 1980s and 1990s the public are waking up to the pitfalls of short term gains and long term destruction of public services".
Indeed, 67% of the general public oppose privatisation and even 48% (against 40% who support) of Tory voters do too, so defending a public service could win public support for posties.
Another postie told us: "If we take action again over these issues, there must be changes.
"The last time we were out for two days the management s**t themselves, but we returned to work while three months of secret negotiations took place.
"To be honest the deal wasn't good for us. Next time we should continue the strike while negotiations take place and be told what's going on in talks."
In The Socialist 14 August 2013:
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