Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/506/3288

From The Socialist newspaper, 17 October 2007

Exposing Royal Mail's lies

While negotiations between Royal Mail management and the Communication Workers Union were still on-going, a London postal worker who was involved in unofficial strike action spoke to the socialist about the dispute.
Postman Pat joins the CWU picket line in East London, photo Naomi Byron

Postman Pat joins the CWU picket line in East London, photo Naomi Byron

"A week's wages were lost by 130,000 postmen and women but we gained a valuable political lesson during our strikes.

Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier has played a massive dirty tricks campaign while looking wide-eyed and defensive. But didn't this casino capitalist revel in the backslapping and congratulations from ministers in 2002 for turning round the (supposedly) failing business and returning record profits and performance figures?

Remember the flawed attempt to re-brand Royal Mail as Consignia?

As I approach my 17th year as a postman, I guess I'm experienced enough to dispel some of the outrageous claims Royal Mail have recently released to an unsympathetic and lazy media. A hard worker is now the fat, lazy, overtime-grabbing slob. The jovial whistling postman now wears the mask of a militant anti-establishment anarchist.

The 92 "Spanish Practices" Royal Mail are talking about are a complete myth. We can shoot down every one of their claims."

CWU picket line in East London, photo Naomi Byron

CWU picket line in East London, photo Naomi Byron

We're being paid the same for door-to-doors [delivering items that aren't individually addressed] as we were in 1996. Door-to-doors were a maximum of three items a week, now they're looking to increase that to nine.

Up to now it was purely optional, now they want to make it compulsory.

The maximum you can earn now from delivering 600 free newspapers a week is about 12, a tiny little leaflet is 6-7 per walk.

With three a week you would average 21-25 extra a week now they want us to do three times the work for free. That means losing up to 75 a week.

We're contracted to work eight hours and we come in every day prepared to do that. It's out of our control how much work comes in.

Why should we be forced to work an extra two hours a day at heavy periods when we're not responsible for the extra workload?

Under the new rules you can be working two hours extra a day for free. There's no more overtime, if someone is off sick the rest of you have to cover their work for nothing.

All over the office we've got digital displays that say the maximum bag weight is 16 kilos but people regularly take out bags of 20-22 kilos because you have to do that to get the job done in time.

Everyone is supposed to weigh out their bag but it's conveniently ignored just to get the job done.

That's why there's so many physical injuries. One guy is off sick waiting for an operation because one of his knees is completely shot. It's not a coincidence that you carry a heavy bag every day and ten years later your knees are gone.

They say mail volumes are down but from my experience I've never worked harder in my life. They're doubling the size of the pouch boxes [where postal workers store up to six bags of mail] on each walk.

They're trialling green vans, electric vans and electric bikes with a huge trailer on the back so we can take even more mail for each walk.

That's a lot of investment for a company that is losing contracts and dealing with decreasing mail volume!

Royal Mail are pleading poverty but they have just spent 40 million on bonuses for managers. Our manager got between 7-10,000 bonus and the "top 100" managers got up to 100,000.

They've spent 15 million to fit out every office with a 42 inch plasma TV screen with wifi connectivity and a computer for managers' conferencing and briefings from Crozier.

We're a committed and hard-working workforce and to blame us for the company losing money is scandalous.

Ever since I've been in the job we've had scare headlines about competition. But the infrastructure Royal Mail has got is absolutely massive - the ability to deliver to every single door in the country.

We're trying to "compete" with tinpot companies delivering pizza leaflets. With a motivated workforce and good industrial relations we can provide a guaranteed service for every letter posted because we have the infrastructure.

Royal Mail property must be worth billions look at the sites they own in London alone.

Every taxpayer has paid for it over hundreds of years. They've no right to sell it off. It's the last bastion of nationalised industry."

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


In The Socialist 17 October 2007:

National Health Service Cutbacks and privatisation kill

National NHS demo

The vultures are circling ever closer

10,000 march in Sussex

Swansea fights the cuts

Rally for Socialism


Postal dispute

Exposing Royal Mail's lies

Postal workers waiting to assess Royal Mail deal

Fighting Royal Mail management's attacks

Solid unofficial action in East London

National Shop Stewards' Network meetings

Daylight robbery in Scotland!

Save Bolsover Post Offices


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Brown's blues


International Appeal

Students on trumped-up charges


Socialist Students

Scrap fees for all students


National Shop Stewards Network

Young workers and students need to get involved

"You've got to stick together"

Stop the placement rip-off now!


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Tony Benn evades the issue


Trade Union Freedom Bill

Trade Union Freedom Bill: Banishing Thatcher's anti-union legacy?

Working longer hours for less pay


Socialist Party women

ITV2 - making a good deal out of women's bodies


International socialist news and analysis

Workers' struggle and political instability sends Polish government into meltdown

Australia: Liberals v Labour - no choice for working people in election


Socialist Party news and analysis

Children's homes at risk of buy-outs


 

Home   |   The Socialist 17 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Postal dispute:

trianglePostal dispute: Bosses still on the attack

triangleCommunication Workers Union ballot

triangleFight Royal Mail victimisation

triangleCWU executive member calls for a 'no' vote

triangleStriking Liverpool postal workers return to work

CWU:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleSet for national strike action

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

triangle25 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2