Royal Mail workers to reballot for strike action: “We are in the fight of our lives”
Gary Clark, secretary, CWU Scotland no 2 branch
The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has announced that talks with Royal Mail management have broken down and the union will be reballoting our membership for industrial action.
The union overwhelmingly smashed the undemocratic voting thresholds in the Tory anti-union laws in their national strike ballot last October – a 97% vote for action on a 76% turnout.
Scandalously, however, one unelected High Court judge dismissed the ballot and the action planned for during the general election and Christmas – the busiest time of the year for the company.
Just prior to Christmas, Royal Mail requested a period of calm for negotiations during which the CWU would not reballot the membership, to allow a basis for real negotiations.
CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger met with Royal Mail’s senior management to agree the process for negotiations to resolve the dispute.
At this meeting, Royal Mail stressed that the financial position was poorer than expected and they were under pressure to make changes much more quickly to turn around the company. But this comes on the back of a lucrative general election for Royal Mail, and a busy Christmas.
The CWU’s postal executive committee met on 14 January and confirmed that it would ballot our members if Royal Mail didn’t pull back from their plans.
To be clear management are out to destroy the power of the CWU and must feel strengthened by the election of the Tory government. And we are clearly in for the fight of our lives.
We must now get another massive Yes vote and get our members up for the battle ahead. Members should take confidence from local management in Bootle being forced back from disciplining a local rep by the threat of action.
We also should be calling for the company’s books to be opened up to the workers and for Royal Mail to be nationalised with the capitalist spivs replaced by the workers to properly and democratically run this great public service.
This is a battle for the whole labour and trade union movement to engage in, especially as Boris Johnson looks to roll out more anti-union laws, targeting the rail and transport unions. The CWU needs to particularly join with the RMT and the other transport unions in the firing line, demanding action from the Trade Union Congress to stand up to the Tories.