Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/492/2525
The Socialist 21 June 2007 |
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Royal Mail/Post Office
Workers demand action
Postal workers on strike in 2007, photo Paul Mattsson
COMMUNICATION Workers' Union (CWU) members have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to defend the postal service, for a living wage and against cuts in working conditions.
As we go to press, the CWU executive have not yet named the day for strike action to begin but it is clear there is enormous pressure from the union's membership to launch the battle with Royal Mail management.
Dave Wilshire, branch secretary of Bristol and district amalgamated CWU branch, told the socialist (in a personal capacity): "The vote for industrial action over pay was overwhelming in Bristol. The branch actually had a larger percentage voting in favour than the national vote, which was 77.5%.
"It's not just postal workers that voted for action. Nationally 73% of post office counters staff voted for action and 66% of cash services workers.
"These are areas that traditionally have not been the strongest areas for the union and the votes for action shows the feelings of members about the need to defend pay.
"As a result of the ballot, there has been a steady stream of applications to join the union. As for applications to join Labour we don't know!
"The union is informing members that this is not a political dispute. That said, co-ordinated action between public-sector unions over pay is necessary and should be looked at."
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, has written an open letter to Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton.
In it he gives the management more time to enter negotiations but he says: "By refusing to negotiate you are revealing publicly that your real motivation is about destroying the union rather than working with us to make Royal Mail a success... if you choose to press on regardless with your cuts and attacks on the workforce then you will be responsible for the first national postal strike in eleven years."