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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 September 2017

CWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Royal Mail managers intimidation post privatisation CWU, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Royal Mail managers intimidation post privatisation CWU, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Carl Harper, CWU activist and Peterborough Socialist Party

When I started as a postman at Royal Mail I felt like I was providing a much-loved public service.

Businesses, both large and small, trust us with important documents. The elderly need us to deliver letters; in many cases their main source of communication, while also providing them with a regular face to talk to (and on occasion fix their leaky kitchen tap!).

The sick and disabled rely on us to deliver medicines. Children delight as we deliver birthday and Christmas cards and presents.

In my office the only people who had part-time jobs were those who wanted them. There was overtime to boost our modest wages if we wanted it and we looked forward to a half-decent pension.

But following the Tory-led coalition privatising the company, there is now a very different ethos. 

We are still required to deliver those items customers demand, but now profits are syphoned off to wealthy investors. 

Chaotic and continuous savings plans are introduced to increase dividends, whatever the effect it has on the customers and the workforce. Deliveries get longer and longer and increased workload is accompanied by pressure and even threats. The reduced overtime opportunity is effectively a pay-cut for many.

Our pension is to be replaced with a scheme which robs us of hundreds of pounds a year in our retirement.

Demands

We are demanding pay, terms and conditions which reflect the service we provide. Hours which are appreciative of the demanding workload. And a wage in retirement. 

Voting Yes not only sends a signal to the union that these should be fought for, but also to the business that we do not accept their race-to-the-bottom business model.

A strong and resounding Yes vote will also fly in the face of the Tories' attempts to scupper industrial action by introducing thresholds.

Importantly, it could also show there exists industrial strength which could be harnessed into a political campaign for the renationalisation of Royal Mail.

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In The Socialist 20 September 2017:


Socialist Students

Fight tuition fees

Why do young people need socialism?


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Refreshing, anticapitalist - but little pointing a way forward

Interview: the "socialist John Le Carré"

The Socialist Inbox


What we think

Labour conference: Corbyn's support must be used to defeat Blairites


International socialist news and analysis

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis


Socialist Party news and analysis

Grenfell inquiry begins: not sufficient, not trusted

Strike to save our NHS!

Fight expansion of disastrous 'Universal Credit' welfare system

Defuse the consumer debt time bomb: nationalise the banks!


Workplace news and analysis

Deal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

Bin workers vote to continue action following rally

CWU strike ballot - why I'm voting Yes

Fight university's 'sackers' charter'

McStrike solidarity event

London Buses safety campaign


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Protest to pressure Labour to scrap Haringey redevelopment plans

Fight for an alternative to the misery of capitalism

Tragic death highlights Chatsworth ward closure risk

East London summit fails to address housing crisis

Interest at Nottingham Green festival


 

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triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

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triangleThe minimum wage must go up! Fund coronavirus workers, not bosses' profits!

triangleLabour must resist 'Covid coalition'

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triangleFrench workers demonstrating in Paris on 16 January; Over 40 days of strike action have taken place against the government's attack on pensions. Photo James Ivens

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