Socialist Worker

Postal workers ballot over pay and conditions

by Gareth Eales, branch secretary, CWU Northamptonshire amal branch
Published Tue 22 May 2007
Issue No. 2052

The Royal Mail strike ballot is on.

Let’s focus on what the final offer was – either £600 non-consolidated, non-pensionable lump sum or a 2.5 percent below inflation rise on basic pay and allowances.

And Royal Mail attached more strings than Pinocchio as part of a blinkered cost slashing business plan that would decimate this company and terms and conditions.

This leaves the CWU union no choice but to fight back, and the union needs its members’ support in the vote for action.

Royal Mail announced that the top 500 managers have agreed to take a pay freeze this year—which is jolly charitable of them given their wages!

Chief executive Adam Crozier “only” gets £1,070,000 this year on top of a £2,000,000 bonus in 2005.

If we earned that we could afford a pay freeze!

The CWU rank and file and the media will be told by managers that a strike now will destroy the company and that the union does not understand the financial pressure the company is under. This is not true.

The CWU acknowledges that as a result of the introduction of competition and the unfair approach of Postcomm (the regulator), Royal Mail is haemorrhaging money and contracts.

Competitors such as DHL and TNT are being given preferential treatment and allowed to “cherry pick” our lucrative contracts.

However, Royal Mail is using the competitive market as an excuse to attack CWU members and subsidise their falling profits by taking money out of workers’ pockets!

This is unacceptable to the CWU.

Royal Mail’s business plan is designed and doomed to fail, which demonstrates a fundamental lack of vision by the people running this company. That is why now is the right time to take action.

The decision our members make this week will ultimately decide the type of job they have in Royal Mail.

If they vote yes they support the CWU’s vision to protect jobs, pensions and terms and conditions for the future.

If they vote no they condemn themselves to Royal Mail’s slash and burn approach in which they say CWU members are overpaid and underworked.


Time to question Labour

‘This strike raises head-on the question of the union’s relation to Labour.

The government is involved in every part of this.

It’s imposing the 2 percent, it’s using the private firms as a stick to beat us, it’s refusing proper rights for agency workers and it provides the anti-union laws for bosses to use against us.

So why are we still giving so much money to Labour?

We should at least widen the parties we give money to so we can support those who support us.

There’s a real feeling that we can’t just go on giving cash to Labour.’

Peter Brown, CWU member, Anglia division


Article information

News
Tue 22 May 2007, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2052
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