All Campaigns subcategories:
Workplace and TU campaigns keywords:
Posties vote yes - where now for postal workers?
Gary Clark, CWU Scotland No.2 branch, personal capacity
Postal workers across the country have overwhelmingly voted in favour of two national agreements, the 'agenda for growth, stability and long-term success', along with a new pension agreement. Both votes were around 95% for to 5% against.
These votes should be viewed against the backdrop of Royal Mail being privatised and CWU members' fear of attack on their terms and conditions.
Already the current management style has members living in fear of intimidation and bullying.
Members clearly viewed that 3% backdated from last April, 3% from this April and most likely 2.8% the following April - allowing for inflation amounting to 9.06% over three years - is a reasonable pay deal.
The national union leadership has made great play of achieving a "legally binding" agreement on terms and conditions.
These safeguards mean that if the company sells off or franchises any part of the company, the collectively agreed terms and conditions will not worsen.
There will be the aim of no compulsory redundancies and no one will be forced to change their hours of employment unless they volunteer to.
The company plans to remain an employer of predominately full-time workers.
This can only be changed if something 'ground breaking' was to happen. It is not certain what this means but it could be a threat to us taking national strike action in the future.
The CWU could take the employer to court for breaking the national agreement.
But the bosses' courts have never been friends of the workers. The only way we can defend the interests of our members will be through our industrial strength.
The CWU has been viewed as one of the most combative unions - at least in the postal side. So this deal can be a major danger.
The new governance arrangements say that the CWU will have a chance to participate in the running of the business.
The union will now be involved in making decisions that could affect our members. So it could become viewed as part of the management.
Just as dangerous are "new ways of resolving disputes" which includes no binding mediation. This could cause delays in members being able to defend their terms and conditions.
There is a danger a mood for action could be dissipated by delay. But also our members could take more unofficial action in the future.
What is not in the agreement has been causing the greatest concern. Management have been creating havoc with their bullying style, forcing through unagreed changes. So important aspects like workload still need to be properly negotiated.
The mostly likely outcome of this agreement will be a period of relative stability. But management will eventually go back on the offensive.
That's why it is vital that we prepare for the period ahead. We must learn the lessons of the past in the postal side of the union, where we have never had an organised left wing.
This should start at this year's conference. We must start laying the ground work for a fighting programme and fighting candidates for the national executive committee.
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 079 8202 1969
East Mids: 077 3797 8057
London: 07748 534 891
North East: 078 4114 4890
North West 079 5437 6096
South West: 077 5979 6478
Southern: 078 3368 1910
Wales: 079 3539 1947
West Mids: 024 7655 5620
Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041