Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/447/5333
Royal Mail - turn anger into action
AT THE recent Communication Workers' Union (CWU) conference an emergency motion was unanimously agreed that the union should take Royal Mail on over a number of issues, around the future of our industry.
Gary Clark, CWU Scotland No 2 branch, vice-chair
The imposition of this year's pay deal was the straw which broke the camel's back. Royal Mail have imposed a below-inflation pay deal, in real terms a pay cut.
This is despite Allan Leighton, Royal Mail chair, admitting that postal workers are underpaid and supporting the CWU policy that postal workers should be on at least the average wage. At present they are trailing behind this by £80 a week.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, with the Royal Mail view of the future of the industry in direct conflict with the interests of postal workers and the general public. Allan Leighton's great plan of share-owning posties will make postal workers safe, secure and happy at work.
This is absolute nonsense and postal workers have seen right through this propaganda.
Royal Mail has written to the Department of Trade and Industry with its plans. These include a further 40,000 job losses, along with a massive conversion of full-time jobs to part-time and forcing people to cover sick and annual leave through team working.
This dispute is not just about pay but the future of our industry. The union gave Royal Mail until 23 June to reach an acceptable deal, which did not happen. Ballot papers for industrial action will therefore be distributed from 10 July, with the result to be announced on 31 July.
Since the announcement of the strike ballot Royal Mail have requested more talks. But there must be no back down by the national leadership.
What will worry activists across the country is what type of action will be called for after a 'yes' vote. The CWU leadership have said that industrial action would have a "...maximum impact on Royal Mail and minimum impact on members". But the only type of action that would be successful is national, united action.
Any settlement must include:
- A 35-hour working week with no loss of earnings.
- A formula to take postal workers up to the national average wage within 18 months.
- No more job losses.
- No compulsory conversions from full-time to part-time working.
- Full protection for our pensions, with no increase in retirement age.
In The Socialist 6 July 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news