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9 April 2020

Search site for keywords: CWU - Health and safety - Postal workers - Royal Mail

Postal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

CWU members are angry, photo Paul Mattsson

CWU members are angry, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

The mood amongst the vast majority of postal workers is turning from concern to anger as they see senior management putting the interests of the shareholders and profit over the interests of the workforce.

In meetings last week with management and the CWU at a senior level, Royal Mail management showed complete contempt towards the union and the CWU membership.

The issue of safety and Covid-19 was really been brought home when it was announced last weekend that two postal workers had died - Stefan Haluszczak from Coventry Parcels Hub and Bola Omoyeni from the National Distribution Centre in Northampton.

Bola was a longstanding CWU rep, involved with the CWU for over 30 years, and previously been on the CWU National Race Advisory Committee.

It is impossible to say how the came in contact with the virus, but their deaths will only increase the concern of many postal workers across the country.

Over the last week a number of units have refused to work in what they view are unsafe conditions. It is reported the lack of PPE is still widespread, and social distancing is at best mixed.

When the senior Royal Mail health and safety manager says washing your hands is the golden standard, many postal workers ask, 'how can you wash your hands when you're out delivering mail'?

When the places postal workers normally use for toilet stops such as community centres, cafes, bars etc, are now closed.

That message showed a complete lack of understanding amongst the managers of what it's really like on the ground.

The CWU Postal Executive Committee met on Friday. Many members who were waiting on a clear leadership, will feel let down by the national response, which is all about trying to pressure the government, and calling for a vote of no confidence in Royal Mail CEO Rico Back.

The mood is that this is not enough considering the contempt being shown to the CWU and our membership.

A postal worker

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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.

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