Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/252/24756
Fighting low pay and privatisation
Support The Postal Workers
POST OFFICE bosses have reneged on the pay agreement reached in early April with the Communication Workers' Union (CWU). They are trying to impose unacceptable conditions before they sign off the deal.
Bill Mullins, Socialist Party industrial organiser
They want the postal workers not only to carry huge bags of junk mail on their rounds but they want them to work without a break for four or more hours at a time, before going back to collect more mail.
Dave, a Brighton postal worker, told The Socialist:
"The two-year pay deal meant our minimum wage would have reached £300 per week by next year. But the bosses are demanding their pound of flesh. They want to abolish the second delivery and deny us proper meal breaks. At the moment we return to the depot after two hours.
"We have a break then continue the second delivery. Now in complete opposition to all health and safety rules, the bosses' want to stop this break and keep us out on the streets."
This is a deliberate attempt by the management to prepare the service for privatisation, they don't care about the 40,000 jobs under threat. How many managers are ready to line their own pockets by setting up delivery companies and bidding for the work? This is what happened to the railways when dozens of managers secretly negotiated to take over their bit of the system.
Ex British Rail manager Giles Fernley sold his share of the Southend to London line for £6.3 million to National Express whilst Brian Scott of Great Western made £7 million on his £40,000 investment when the company was sold to FirstGroup recently.
Many postal managers must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of doing the same thing.
Tony Blair and the government are privatisation mad. They are handing over huge tracts of the public services to private companies. Don't let them sell off the post office. The fight for decent wages without strings is part of the fight against privatisation.
The Socialist says:
- Support the postal workers' fight for a living wage.
- For mass action to stop the privatisation of the post office.
- For a national one-day public sector strike against the privatisation of public services.
In The Socialist 3 May 2002: