Gary Clark, CWU PEC and NEC candidate, and Socialist Party Scotland
This has been an extremely challenging time for all of us in the Communication Workers Union (CWU). We have come through this and are now electing the new national executive committee (NEC) which will be leading the union for the next period.
I strongly believe we are going to face unprecedented challenges which we need to adapt to and ensure the CWU is prepared to fight for its members.
In Royal Mail, we have now got a new national agreement after a tremendous and long campaign, where we collectively took on and saw off the latest CEO. But now is not the time to sit back. We must keep pushing ahead for the benefit of all our members.
The agreement includes a 2.7% followed by a 1% pay rise which our members have welcomed and now is the time to push ahead on pay. We must demand and campaign for all our members to achieve a real living wage of £15 an hour basic plus allowances, including London weighting.
We have also seen Royal Mail dragging its feet when it comes to a 35-hour week. This must stop, and we must push ahead with this at pace, with an implementation date by 2022 and if management refuse, we must meet this with a campaign and, if needed, action from us.
For years now we have been raising the issue of management’s bullying culture, demanding that this bullying behaviour be dealt with through recent national agreements, but managers continue bullying our members regardless. When we do get action, the majority of times managers are just moved sideways rather than disciplined. This must now stop. Words must be backed by action.
Politically we have seen the Labour Party move decisively to the right and back to the Tony Blair era. The Corbyn days are now over and this clearly should fundamentally change our relationship with the Labour Party.
Our members will rightly be asking how can we support a party that does not support us? We have seen certain Labour figurers attacking us publicly.
I am calling for the CWU to only support candidates who support us in the CWU. Whether that is from within or outside the Labour Party. Some will say this will see us outside the Labour Party and we will not be able to get support from people in parliament, but there are several unions which are not affiliated to the Labour Party at present.
We should be calling on the unions to call a conference to discuss political representation for workers, including building a new workers’ party as Labour has deserted us again.
We must also demand renationalisation of both Royal Mail and British Telecoms and make sure our members on strike are supported.
I will only take the average postie’s wage and put the rest back into the movement. I will be a fighting, campaigning, socialist postal executive committee and NEC member who keeps in constant touch with the most important people, the CWU members.