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Postal union rejects pay offer
THE COMMUNICATION Workers' Union (CWU) Postal national executive committee has just overwhelmingly rejected what was termed as Royal Mail's full and final offer and which Royal Mail called "excellent" and "inflation-busting".
Gary Clark, vice-chair, CWU Scotland No 2 branch
This offer consisted of 2.9% on basic pay and weekly overtime. But this failed to flow through to shift allowances, skill allowances and scheduled attendance rates.
In real terms, this means an increase of £9 a week for postal workers. Royal Mail have said any increase in this offer would have to be achieved through the National Efficiencies Savings agreement. 40% of all savings are to be put into a national pot and paid into basic pay in June this year - with the possibility of a £400 payment for some workers.
This was due to be reviewed jointly between Royal Mail and the CWU but Royal Mail is now withholding all available information from the union. What Royal Mail chief Adam Crozier and others are saying is that if postal workers want a decent pay rise this year it will have to be met by massive job losses of around 30,000.
This would increase postal workers' workloads - but they claim this is the only way we will be able to work towards securing the average weekly wage in the UK. We currently receive £80 less than the national average.
The national union response has been very limited, with only very loose threats of industrial action being made to Royal Mail. Our conference in three weeks' time should be turned into a conference of action.
Our leadership is still reeling from the ballot defeat three years ago and seems to lack confidence in postal workers. But postal workers up and down the country have received attack after attack during those three years. We need to use this conference to launch a campaign to secure and enhance our members' conditions after the constant onslaught from Royal Mail and the New Labour government.
In The Socialist 11 May 2006:
Socialist Party election analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news