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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 October 2019

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Plymouth Royal Mail workers on strike against bullying management, 24-26.7.19, photo Ryan Aldred

Plymouth Royal Mail workers on strike against bullying management, 24-26.7.19, photo Ryan Aldred   (Click to enlarge)

Gary Clark, CWU branch secretary

On 15 October the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will announce the ballot result for industrial action over management plans to end Royal Mail group as a real public service. All indications point to a yes vote as big if not better than the 89% yes vote two years ago.

Over several years there has been a number of national disputes, but this is clearly different. It looks like management, under the new CEO Rico Back, is preparing for a bitter dispute but at the same time the membership is clearly supporting the CWU.

The last dispute which resulted in the 'four pillars' national agreement, was resolved following a massive yes vote, without any industrial action. But the signs are it won't be the same this time around.

Rico Back has come into the role of CEO with a golden hello of £6 million and a package of around £2.7 million a year. His role is clear, to break the strength of the CWU. This is a result of the sell off of Royal Mail and the push towards maximum profit and the rundown of the service.

The issues over the four pillars agreement are only the tip of the iceberg. Royal Mail has announced a five-year plan to remove all parcels above shoe box size from most delivery offices and bypass mail centres. In a stroke this will cost 20,000 jobs. What's more, it clearly states that Royal Mail will no longer be a letters company.

Also Rico has refused to support the CWU in maintaining the 'universal service obligation' which ensures every household in the UK gets a six-days-a-week service. If this was to go, that would mean another 20,000 jobs lost. So in total, a third of the entire workforce. This is clearly to maximise profit in a privatised company to keep the hedge funds happy.

We have already seen a huge amount of unofficial action, unit by unit, mainly over the bullying culture within Royal Mail, and an increase in disciplinary action against CWU reps and officials.

After the ballot result is announced we must plan for the fight of our lives. This clearly won't be resolved by short-term action. But it is very likely to be a bitter dispute, where we will need the support of the whole trade union movement. Support groups should be set up around the whole country in preparation for this battle ahead.

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In The Socialist 9 October 2019:


What we think

Brexit theatrics continue

Syria: Trump gives green light to Turkey to attack Kurds


News

Cutting, lying Tories - kick them out!

Asda workers protest callous bosses

Cynical Tories' domestic violence bill not enough


Labour and workers' rights

Corbyn promises 'power in the hands of workers' - how can Labour do it?

Labour and the fight for a shorter working week


Obituary

Tony Mulhearn 1939-2019


Workplace news

BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory

Vote yes to Royal Mail strike action to take on the bullying bosses

Birmingham HS2 protest against bosses' attacks on trade union organisation

Attacks on Caerphilly waste management workers

Equity manifesto lays out anti-austerity model for arts

Vote for socialist fighter Jared Wood in RMT elections

Sainsbury's strikers win

Unison's retired members reflect growing anger

Lincolnshire health visitors strike


Chinese revolution

Chinese revolution of 1944-49: 'The second greatest event in human history'


International socialist news and analysis

Trump, impeachment and the need for an independent workers' party


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism: The alternative to capitalist austerity, low pay and crisis

Best way to fight back? Join the Socialist Party

Socialism 2019: why I'm going... and why you should too!

Waltham Forest: mobilisation needed to defend abortion rights

Huge opposition to Barry rehab ward closure

'The little people can win' - Leeds tenants push back demolition

Selling the Socialist

York freshers success


Reviews

Book review: She Said - Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement

Film review: Joker - Sympathising with a monster created by today's incendiary conditions


 

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