Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/440/5216
Postal workers prepare for action
AS THE CWU national conference begins, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) national executive committee has called an industrial action ballot of its postal members against the 2.9% pay rise imposed by Royal Mail.
Gary Clark, vice-chair, CWU Scotland No 2 Branch
The union has decided to give Royal Mail four weeks to come to an agreement. This is against a background of Royal Mail managers up and down the country trying to bypass the union wherever possible by going straight to members.
This is quite clearly de-recognition. This is a battle which the union must take on but giving them a period of four weeks to negotiate, prior to the strike ballot taking place, could be seen as a mistake.
The ballot should kick in immediately as members across the country are crying out for action now.
At the same time Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman appointed by the Labour government, is attempting to push ahead with his so-called share offer.
He has written to the Department of Trade and Industry with his plans for Royal Mail in which 20% of the business will be privatised and 'shares' issued to Royal Mail employees. Part of his plans include 40,000 redundancies.
No matter how the government and Allan Leighton try to sugar-coat this, it is simply privatisation. This must be fought alongside the campaign for a decent pay rise for postal workers.
If the Labour government attempt to push this through it must be fought on two fronts. One, an immediate disaffiliation from the Labour Party in line with conference policy and two, a ballot for industrial action to fight privatisation.
This is the beginning of a major offensive by Royal Mail which will lead us to major conflict in the coming months.
This is why this year's conference must prepare for battle. It is time for the leadership to take up the challenge because members are not prepared to take this treatment any more.
Campaign for a New Workers' Party meeting
Sunday 21 May, 6pm
Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Road, Bournemouth.
Speaker: Glenn Kelly, CNWP trade union officer
In The Socialist 18 May 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news and analysis