The fight is on. Postal workers organised by the
Communication Workers Union (CWU) are staging a series of national strikes
following a 77% yes vote to defend jobs and conditions – in fact the very service
itself. Post office management have spent the last few years running the post
service down and down and then complaining about lost income!
First they cut
the second delivery (for those lucky enough to still have it), then they cut
post offices, sorting offices etc. then they cut jobs. Of course the one thing
they have not cut is charges – they have gone up and up. Bonuses for top
management have also, naturally, not been cut either.
Meanwhile the service
regulator Postcomm, under the direction of the government, had led the way in
giving aid and comfort to the private alternatives in order to undermine the
Royal Mail. For example UK Mail have seen their profits soar by 124% in return
for collecting and sorting profitable bulk business mail before handing it back
to Royal Mail to do the expensive bit – the actual delivery to the door. Many
lucrative contracts have been creamed off to firms like UK Mail under rigged
rules designed to undermine Royal Mail.
Postcomm’s aim is to see the break-up of the Royal Mail with the most
profitable bits being sold off to big business and the rest left in tatters.
Far from defending post customers, as it is supposed to do, it is acting as an
agent for the City of London.
Royal Mail’s management has responded by proposing still
more cuts and job losses. A below inflation pay rise of 2.5% is to be imposed
on employees and working conditions are to be downgraded to save costs at the
employees’ expense. If management are allowed to get away with this, the
service will become a shadow of what it once was with ordinary users coming off
They are also trying to threaten
staff who take action. It has been reported that investigators hired by
management will be videoing picket lines to identify who is actively
involved. All the talk about Royal Mail
management working hand in hand with the union to head off the attack from the
private sector has been shown to be just words.
Now the time has come to fight.
Every trade unionist should ensure that the CWU is given maximum support.
Remember this is your post service too – once it has been ripped apart then
things will be too late. The Royal Mail needs to be returned to what it should
be, a public service who employees are rewarded for doing work which benefits
us all not just another source of profit.
- Support the CWU strike action
- No to management cuts in pay, jobs and conditions
- No more closures of post offices
- Give Postcomm the boot