Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 February 2018

Royal Mail forced back under threat of action but keep the pressure on

Royal Mail workers, photo by Socialist Party

Royal Mail workers, photo by Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Gary Clark, Secretary CWU Scotland No.2 branch

The CWU executive committee has agreed a national agreement with Royal Mail Group (RMG) which will now go to members to vote on. Overall, it represents a major climb-down by management and should be viewed as a victory against them. But we must hold management to it, as past agreements have seen them ignore agreed principles and instead attack our members.

This agreement was won because we pushed management and they knew that we were prepared for a battle with them. Clearly they were surprised by the way we engaged with our members and the tremendous 89% yes vote for strike action - the first national strike ballot by any union under the Tories' Trade Union Act and its undemocratic voting thresholds.

A wave of unofficial walkouts at over 20 delivery offices over the last six months or so to defend individual union reps and members also sent a clear message to Royal Mail that our members were up for the fight.

Some major gains have been won from Royal Mail since the start of the dispute. On pay a victory has been achieved with a lump sum of 250 raised to 350 and a 5% pay increase backdated to October 2017, plus a further 2% rise next year.

At the same time, we have also seen a move towards a 35-hour working week, with a one-hour reduction this October, followed by another hour linked to the 2019 pay review and with a path to achieve the 35-hour week by 2022.

There was a clear attack on our pensions where Royal Mail had given notice to renege on the agreement at privatisation by closing down our final salary/defined benefits (DB) pension scheme, which not all members are in.

While the proposed new defined contribution (DC) scheme, which will now cover all members, doesn't maintain the existing DB terms, Royal Mail has been forced to agree to a number of important concessions which, if implemented, will be a marked improvement on that originally proposed.

Royal Mail has had to increase its employee pension contribution from the 10% it originally proposed to 13.6%. The agreement says that the new scheme has a 'similar design' to previous RMG DB schemes but because it will be DC, these are 'targets not hard promises'. Therefore there are clearly outstanding questions on pensions that members will want clarified.

But this single scheme is a great step forward for our newer members in particular who have been stuck in a poorer scheme since 2008. If management try to stall or block the path to the new pension we must be prepared to take action.

What now needs tackling is the culture of bullying by Royal Mail against our members which has led to unofficial action over the past few years.

Reps and members will now debate this agreement. Overall, we believe it should be supported. We would support members if they decide to fight for more but the gains that have been secured can raise members' confidence and we have now got to make sure that we keep our members prepared to tackle Royal Mail management.

This offer can also give other workers confidence to fight - especially those fighting for pay and pensions in the public sector.

This dispute shows clearly the need for the CWU, alongside the current struggle, to continue the fight to re-nationalise Royal Mail to secure jobs, pay and pensions for postal workers. This is the expectation that CWU members will have of a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 7 February 2018:

Save our NHS

NHS - build the fightback

NHS day of action: all around the country

Tragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

York socialists head resistance to NHS outsourcing

Trump v NHS


Capita in crisis: bring all outsourcers back in-house

90 feared dead after migrant boat capsizes

What we think

Corbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war


Haringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Walthamstow: occupy to save the town square

Scene set for TUSC conference electoral debate


Royal Mail forced back under threat of action

Unison national women's conference

Striking back against academies in Newham

International socialist news and analysis

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime


GCSE grading game stresses out students - even more than before!

Fighting sexism: Positive discrimination - yea or neigh?

Bernie's book shows need for workers' party

Darkest Hour: Not the usual flattery of brutal Tory Churchill

The Socialist inbox

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist Party is being evicted - we need you!

Yorkshire Socialist Party regional conference


Home   |   The Socialist 7 February 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleCWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

triangleEscalate summer strike wave into coordinated action to defeat the pay cap


triangleZero new homes 'affordable' in Blairite Manchester

triangleSainsbury's raise really a cut: fight for 10 with no strings!

triangleProfits up Wages down

triangleDetermined UCU strikers: We're out to win!


triangleStrike continues: set dates for next national action

triangleUCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleNational lecturers' pension strike continues


triangleBT pensions review - oppose the attacks on the pension schemes

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run



Salford nurseries consultation delayed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

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



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


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: 0191 421 6230

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



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018