Fight the Royal Mail sell-off

Lenny Shail

The sell-off of the remaining publicly owned parts of Royal Mail was completed over the last week. This represents the sad passing of the last remaining form of publicly owned communications.

With the announcement of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) ballot result due as we go to press, many postal workers will be asking: ‘what can we do now?’

The CWU ballot is expected to return a strong ‘yes’ vote for industrial action.

This should be the cue for the CWU leadership to announce national strike action as soon as possible.

They should look to coordinate joint strike action with all the other unions that are in dispute to shake this weak Tory-led coalition down.

While still seeking to defend terms, conditions and jobs under the new privatised regime, the CWU leadership must not lose sight of the very realistic aim to win back Royal Mail from private hands.

A campaign of rolling national strikes, combined with local walkouts and stoppages and other forms of industrial action can make the privatisation unworkable.

It could force the government to reverse the process and bring Royal Mail back under public ownership, with compensation only on the basis of proven need.

Such a battle would place firmly on the agenda the need for genuine public and workers’ ownership and control of the postal service and the entire communications industry

While strike actions remains the key, without a political strategy the CWU is fighting with one arm behind its back.

The refusal of Labour leaders to accept their own conference decision to reverse privatisation under a Labour government is further proof of the need to break the CWU link to the Labour Party.

It raises once again the need for the CWU to fully engage in the building of a new mass workers’ party.