Royal Mail and the CWU union will meet again for talks on Monday at the TUC following two very successful days of strikes last week: here we look at some of the key issues – and some of the dangers.
The CWU has got the employers and the government on the back foot. Now it needs to press the advantage home.
It will be disastrous for postal workers, and the whole working class, if this strong position is thrown away. The strikes were very successful, there is a big and growing backlog, and the public back the workers. A BBC poll found that 50 percent of people sympathise most with the postal workers and only 25 percent with the management – despite the torrent of anti-worker propaganda in the media.
Here are some basic principles that should guide the talks this week, and will be important when assessing a settlement:
On Sunday Royal Mail chief executive Adam Crozier said that while he hoped an outline agreement would result in this week's strikes being called off, it would take ‘a couple of months’ to agree any final deal. That is a recipe for defeat. Don't let him get away with it! Postal workers should also remember that the TUC brokered the 2007 national deal which has proved so ineffective – and threw away the pension scheme.
Workers need to know that the changes they have been taking action against (and London workers have lost 17 days pay over) are being withdrawn.
The CWU must use its strong position: build the strikes and demand that the whole working class gets behind this vital struggle.