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From The Socialist newspaper, 23 April 2014

CWU conference: Renationalise Royal Mail!

Clive Walder, CWU Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch

The most important debate at the forthcoming Communication Workers Union (CWU) conference will be over the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Propositions submitted call on the next Labour government to carry out Labour's policy to renationalise Royal Mail.

The arrogant denunciation made by the shadow Business Secretary hours after that policy was passed at last year's Labour Party conference has prompted several CWU branches, and not the ones that would be expected, to table propositions calling for a review of the union's relationship with the Labour Party.

A proposition from Socialist Party supporters calls for the union to initiate discussions with the rest of the trade union movement, aiming to secure real political representation for workers.

Other propositions call for a ballot on whether any more political fund money should be donated to Labour if the next Labour government fails to renationalise Royal Mail.

Many other propositions still have illusions in a Labour government reversing the Con-Dem government's policies but there are propositions calling for the repeal of anti-trade union laws and the immediate abolition of the bedroom tax.

There is also a proposition calling on the union to make a donation to the Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) election fund for the South African general election.

In the telecoms occupational conference the problem of performance management in BT and bullying in the workplace continue to attract motions.

While the union executive has tabled a motion congratulating itself on its latest agreement with BT, two branches submitted propositions calling for an industrial action ballot by the end of July if real improvement isn't made.

Branches are becoming concerned that an agreement made by the BT-friendly executive, allowing for inferior pay and conditions for new call centre staff, is now being used by BT as the norm for recruiting all new staff.

The executive is being instructed to agree to no more recruitment on these terms and conditions.

There is the beginnings of resistance to the blank cheque handed to BT by the executive. Although the current leadership will control the union in the short term, its support is beginning to be undermined.

Branches not normally associated with opposition to the executive are beginning to stand up and be counted.

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In The Socialist 23 April 2014:


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