Socialist Party
| Print

18 October 2017

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

A Royal Mail worker

"The public has a right to be protected from unsupported disruption being caused by a small proportion of union members and that's exactly what the Trade Union Act will do." That was according to Tory business minister Margot James speaking on the introduction of the Trade Union Act 2016.

But the true nature of the legislation was thrust into the open on 12 October when the judiciary came to the rescue of Royal Mail bosses in defying a democratic strike ballot result.

It was the first national ballot for strike action since the act's introduction. 72,877 Communication Workers Union (CWU) members voted to fight back against Royal Mail's attack on their pension rights and refusal to engage seriously over pay, working hours, future job security and the need to improve the service.

Those members would surely be forgiven for expecting that an 89.1% yes vote, on a 73% turnout, is no "small proportion", especially given that it smashed through the thresholds outlined in the Trade Union Act.

But the Royal Court of Justice ruled in favour of Royal Mail's claim that the full 'external mediation process' hadn't been exhausted, despite around 18 months of negotiations and the company having already informed workers about the changes to pensions.

Plans for a 48-hour strike from 19 October have been "postponed" with the union forced to enter mediation with the company.

The company's motivation - far from wanting to meaningfully engage in mediation - was revealed by a press release stating: "We expect the process to take close to Christmas to be completed, and maybe longer."

Rights

It is now evident that the thresholds in the act are not there to 'protect' the public but are another way of removing workers' right to strike.

And this result shows that bosses can then also rely on the judiciary to bail them out, should the thresholds be met in ballot results.

The anger already felt by members against the actions of the company has been added to by this court decision. Unofficial walkouts are possible and these must be supported by the union leadership.

This is an attack on all workers' right to strike and take action. Unions must recognise the implications of the new trade union laws. Members must pressure their leaders to create mass resistance, demanding TUC-organised support including solidarity action if necessary.

It is important that we fight this weak Tory government. These archaic anti-union laws can be put into the dustbin of history and Royal Mail can be placed into democratic public ownership for the benefit of workers and society.




http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/26327




Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

triangle13 Jun No to Trump and Tory racism

triangle13 Jun Civil service pay strike ballot: vote yes!

triangle13 Jun How can we fight for trade unions that fight for women?

triangle13 Jun Health unions accept divisive NHS pay deal - but fightback could have...

triangle13 Jun Build an anti-racist workers' movement

triangle13 Jun Grenfell: still waiting for justice

triangle9 Jun PCS members in DWP say: Pay up now!

More ...

WHAT'S ON

triangle19 Jun Manchester Socialist Party: Trotskyism & the Transitional Programme

triangle20 Jun Caerphilly & RCT Socialist Party: After the Italian elections - Which way for Italy?

triangle20 Jun Cardiff Central Socialist Party: What is fascism and is it a threat today?

triangle20 Jun Hackney & Islington Socialist Party: The 1000th issue of the Socialist

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

What we Stand For

About the Socialist Party

Our 2015 election manifesto

Joining the Socialist Party - what will it mean for you

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999