Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/29878

Posted on 13 November 2019 at 17:53 GMT

High Court injunction: solidarity to the CWU - support the posties!

The whole trade union movement must now rally behind the CWU, photo Paul Mattsson

The whole trade union movement must now rally behind the CWU, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Party members in CWU

The ruling by the High Court against the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that voids their national strike ballot in Royal Mail is a massive attack on the union, its postal worker members, and the whole labour and trade union movement, which must now come to the CWU's aid.

This is a defining moment for workers, their unions and their ability to organise and strike.

It will not be lost on the 110,000 CWU posties, and many other trade unionists, that a strike vote of 97% on a 76% turnout, smashing the draconian and undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws, has been ruled out by one single unelected judge acting for the bosses.

Moreover, as the CWU leadership has rightly claimed, one motivation is to stop a strike during the general election, called by Tory PM Boris Johnson because he can't govern as he doesn't have a majority!

Perhaps this is the most extreme example yet of the anti-worker character of the law. Itís used to protect the Tory government and bullying Royal Mail management, who wanted to prevent action during their most profitable time of the year in the run-up to Christmas.

The CWU now has to discuss its response to the court ruling. We have had regular national reps meetings, and an emergency one should be called in the next few days, with local gate meetings organised to report back.

This is the best way to prevent a vacuum opening up, and keep members together. The leadership's immediate response was to raise the possibility of a legal appeal and even a re-ballot. But the idea of militant action should be tested out with reps and members.

The postal workers have a proud history of taking unofficial action when necessary to defend victimised reps and members. This has been common over the last few years, and even during the current balloting process.

But the union should consider how best to ensure that action taken against this outrageous decision isn't isolated and sporadic. The best defence against any management offensive is to act together - with properly prepared national action.

In the meantime, goodwill should be withdrawn in offices, including not volunteering for overtime. This would send a real message to Royal Mail that the union and postal workers aren't going anywhere.

But posties have another tradition - supporting other workers taking action, often refusing to deliver mail across picket lines. The whole union movement must immediately give support to the CWU.

The Tories, through David Cameron, supported by the likes of Boris Johnson, devised the Trade Union Act as the latest in the long line of their anti-union laws going back to Thatcher's.

Supporting the postal workers at Socialism 2019, London 2-3 November, photo Paul Mattsson

Supporting the postal workers at Socialism 2019, London 2-3 November, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

After the two-million-strong 2011 'N30' public sector pensions strike, they wanted to make national strike action impossible by bringing in the undemocratic voting threshold of a 50% turnout to make a strike legal.

The CWU smashed this by an incredible campaign of mobilising members. But the judge ruled against them because, rightly, the union acted against the Thatcherite spirit of the anti-union laws, which seek to isolate and atomise union members, so that they vote alone, with all the propaganda from management bearing down on them.

Therefore, the response has to be defiant and collective across the movement. In their bulletin to members, the CWU leadership correctly states: "This injunction is not only a massive injustice to our members, it's also an injustice to every worker in the country.

"We all need to wake up and recognise that this Tory government has deliberately stacked the rules against workers, in favour of the constituency they were born to serve - which is big business and the establishment.

"We appeal to the TUC and workers everywhere - in what is a call to arms - that it's time for us to fundamentally shift the balance of forces in this country back to working people and remove these draconian laws once and for all."

There should be an immediate joint meeting of the TUC General Council and the Labour leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

There should be unequivocal support for whatever action the CWU and its members decide to take. They should call an emergency national demonstration on these demands:

This could link up with the increasing number of workers taking action - including what is effectively a national strike of university lecturers and staff who are taking eight days of action from Monday 25 November to Wednesday 4 December, as well as RMT union members who are on strike during November and December on South Western railway and West Midlands Trains.

Jeremy Corbyn should publicly support the CWU - re-committing to his policies of repealing the Trade Union Act and re-nationalising Royal Mail.

This would give confidence to postal workers, and contrast him with pro-Royal Mail management Boris Johnson and expose his fake pro-worker populism.

The time to act is now - support the CWU and the postal workers. Defeat Royal Mail management. Get the Tories out - for a Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour government on socialist policies, including the re-nationalisation of Royal Mail.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 13 November 2019 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation £

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

CWU:

triangleRoyal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks

triangleStop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

trianglePeterborough CWU have massively voted for strike action

triangleFight BT redundancies

triangleOppose BT site closures - national strike ballot needed

Strike:

triangleEast London teachers strike in support of victimised union rep

triangle

Heathrow workers strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

triangle

Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

triangleHeathrow workers to strike against 'fire and rehire' plans

Royal Mail:

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

Postal workers:

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

triangleCollective action becoming necessary to ensure safety and vital deliveries

Anti-union laws:

trianglePostal workers deliver massive strike vote

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

26/11/20

NHS

PPE contracts: It pays to have friends in high places

25/11/20

Covid

Covid crisis: "We won't pay the price"

25/11/20

Health

Stop the Tories putting profit before health

18/11/20

Unison

Women workers need strong trade unions to defend their jobs, pay and services

18/11/20

Covid

Covid, vaccines, 'big pharma' - and the need for socialism

18/11/20

NEU

Campaign for school Covid safety must continue

18/11/20

Government

Tories in turmoil... 'Reset' the whole system! Fight for socialism

18/11/20

Government

Tory crisis cannot be 'reset' - workers need a new mass party

18/11/20

Children

System failing thousands of children in care

18/11/20

Education

Wales exams scrapped: What's behind the headline?

18/11/20

Croydon

Croydon Council declares bankruptcy - no cuts in Croydon or any other council

18/11/20

Universities

Tories student 'evacuation' plan won't work

11/11/20

Police

Spycops inquiry : why the capitalist state feared and continues to fear socialism

11/11/20

Covid

Capitalists vs working class - not in it together

11/11/20

Children

Tory U-turn: Free school meals

triangleMore News and socialist analysis 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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 075 4018 9052

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2020

November 2020

October 2020

September 2020

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999