The Socialist 6 September 2003
Teach Blair A Lesson
Fight low pay, job cuts and privatisation in Royal Mail
Vote 'yes' for action
I'VE BEEN a postman for twelve years. In that time we've seen the management buying up foreign businesses which have made losses and changing the name to Consignia and then back again at a cost of millions of pounds.
Geoff Treasure, postal worker, Northwich, Cheshire
We've seen a government regulator who knows nothing about the business set us targets that are unfair. And now Allan Leighton has been put in place as chairman by Tony Blair to get the business ready to sell off.
Earning millions for doing little is his game, with directorships all over the place. One of the many fat cats, he has been sending us propaganda through our letter boxes for a few months.
He's belittled our union, he's complained about the "treacle" pace of negotiations. He's said we need a proper reward for our efforts but he's offered us all redundancy.
And he's offered us what he calls a 14.5% wage rise if we accept 30,000 job losses, longer rounds and longer working hours on Saturdays. He's also said the business cannot afford any more than what's on the table.
Our union, the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) has pushed forward this pay deal ballot for industrial action. Now is the time for us to make a stand against Leighton and his merry men, chief executive Adam Crozier and deputy chairman Elmar Toime.
These three received huge bonuses recently. Crozier received £57,000 after two months in the job, this is on top of his annual salary of £500,000.
Not bad when we are constantly told the business is losing millions of pounds a day.
This is nearly 40 times what we earn for getting up before dawn and delivering mail in all weathers with not the slightest bit of thanks from the managers.
Morale is at its lowest level I have ever known it.
Our rounds are getting heavier by the week, more and more "junk mail" is weighing us down.
But when we are already dead on our feet after deliveries, why are we being asked to reduce the number of postmen and women and increase the size of delivery rounds?
The only guaranteed part of the pay offer is 4.5% over 18 months. This works out less than inflation when you annualise it.
We've lost more than that due to Gordon Brown's national insurance increases.
We are earning well below the European decency threshold whilst the business is making a profit, despite the figures they show us. We deserve more money now, that's why I will be voting 'yes' to industrial action.
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