Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/599/8282
Support postal workers
Fighting to defend jobs and services
Postal workers on strike in East London, photo by The Socialist
The Postal workers' strikes are to defend a national service which we can be proud of. Yet Royal Mail management claim the strikes are against modernisation by a workforce who just don't want to work.
Gary Clark, sub area rep, Scotland No.2, CWU
Management are only after massive profits, led by Adam Crozier, the highest paid public sector worker in history, who has no real interest in providing a publicly owned, well-resourced service.
There can be no doubt that the managers also have the backing of the Labour government, which seems hell bent on revenge against the Communication Workers Union (CWU) since Labour was defeated when it tried to sell off 49% of Royal Mail to the private sector.
On the other side you have 120,000 low paid postal workers who want to stop the slash and burn tactics of the Royal Mail management and provide a first class service to the public, look at the massive 76% 'yes' vote in the ballot for strike action.
Management and the government want to smash the CWU. This was proved by the leaked documents where they clearly stated they want to bypass and virtually derecognise the union.
The Labour government would love to see the break-up of the power which the CWU has. They believe as long as the union is there, there is less chance of a private sell-off.
If Royal Mail get away with their plans unchallenged, deliveries will move to even later in the day. 'Modernisation' means worsening the service.
Postal workers are looking for support from the public and organised workers across the country so we can win this vital dispute. This can be a massive victory for public sector workers across the country.
Click here for Socialist Party leaflet on the CWU strike
The Socialist calls for:
- CWU to demand support from the whole trade union movement if Royal Mail try to break the strikes with scabs.
- No more "modernisation" deals - end the attacks once and for all.
- Defend all jobs.
- No to increased workloads.
- Defend the union, defend the reps.
- Bring back 'in house' all previously privatised work.
- For a united fight to defend public services across all public-sector trade unions.
"It's not us killing small businesses - it's Royal Mail. They want later and later delivery times, making it very difficult for businesses relying on getting their post in the morning. Really big companies will pay for special delivery direct from the sorting office but that costs a lot and small businesses can't afford it.
"We provide a public service to every address but we still make a profit. So why does the government still want to sell us off?"
Dave Moore, Bolsover delivery office rep
"We want customers to understand that we are the ones that really care about the service. When a postal worker leaves or retires, they don't replace them. Their work is then spread amongst the remaining workers. That means the customer gets the mail later.
"Royal Mail is making 'savings' this year and they are making them next year. The managers get at least a £2,000 bonus again this year, but our members get a pay freeze - in reality a pay cut."
Mark Greenhill, CWU branch secretary, Leicestershire.
"All we want is a fair and achievable workload. Our members want to come in at the time that the roster says they are supposed to start, and finish at the time that the roster says they are supposed to leave. Labour isn't interested in this dispute, I will not be voting Labour at the next election. I have been calling Pat McFadden, minister for employment relations and postal affairs, and have received no reply. I want to know what he's doing about this. None of us want to be on strike, we want to provide a service. We all have mortgages and kids. This is costing us, we've been pushed to the limit though, and striking is the only action we can take. I think that the public know that."
Pete Thompson, Oxford CWU
In The Socialist 28 October 2009:
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party reviews