Postal workers prepare for action

AS THE CWU national conference begins, the Communication Workers’
Union (CWU) national executive committee has called an industrial
action ballot of its postal members against the 2.9% pay rise imposed
by Royal Mail.

Gary Clark, vice-chair, CWU Scotland No 2 Branch

The union has decided to give Royal Mail four weeks to come to an
agreement. This is against a background of Royal Mail managers up and
down the country trying to bypass the union wherever possible by
going straight to members.

This is quite clearly de-recognition. This is a battle which the
union must take on but giving them a period of four weeks to
negotiate, prior to the strike ballot taking place, could be seen as
a mistake.

The ballot should kick in immediately as members across the
country are crying out for action now.

At the same time Allan Leighton, the Royal Mail chairman appointed
by the Labour government, is attempting to push ahead with his
so-called share offer.

He has written to the Department of Trade and Industry with his
plans for Royal Mail in which 20% of the business will be privatised
and ‘shares’ issued to Royal Mail employees. Part of his plans
include 40,000 redundancies.

No matter how the government and Allan Leighton try to sugar-coat
this, it is simply privatisation. This must be fought alongside the
campaign for a decent pay rise for postal workers.

If the Labour government attempt to push this through it must be
fought on two fronts. One, an immediate disaffiliation from the
Labour Party in line with conference policy and two, a ballot for
industrial action to fight privatisation.

This is the beginning of a major offensive by Royal Mail which
will lead us to major conflict in the coming months.

This is why this year’s conference must prepare for battle. It is
time for the leadership to take up the challenge because members are
not prepared to take this treatment any more.

CWU conference

Campaign for a New Workers’ Party meeting

Sunday 21 May, 6pm

Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Road, Bournemouth.

Speaker: Glenn Kelly, CNWP trade union officer