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Postal Workers Expose Low Pay Scandal
ANGRY POSTAL workers brought their grievances over low pay to the TUC this week. A group of postal workers in uniform showed payslips to the gathered media which showed them earning as little as £216 for a six-day working week.
Their union, the CWU, staged the media event to highlight the chronic low pay which exists in the Post Office and to blow a hole in management's financial fiddles.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said he wished to raise publicly a number of serious concerns about the spin Royal Mail were putting on the state of the company's finances and the current state of the postal industry.
He highlighted their unwillingness to answer questions about the real cost of reaching a settlement in the current pay negotiations.
The union is asking the government to reconvene the DTI select committee to re-examine the company accounts and the assumptions on which management's renewal plan is based.
Dave added that he felt that the spin was being used to justify ripping 30,000 jobs out of the industry.
He added that the union had been threatened with legal action by management for threatening to query the company's accounts.
The CWU pointed out that Royal Mail's alleged losses were halved last year from the previous year and that was without any jobs being lost. Many sectors of Royal Mail were making a profit and increasing their profits.
Therefore, they argued, there is no justification for axing 30,000 jobs. In fact the industry is forecast to expand by 7% a year, according to postal watchdog Postwatch.
Maureen Gleeson, a postal worker from Chislehurst in Kent said that letters that had been sent to them by management had just made them more determined to stand up and be counted in her area.
She added that even some local managers were saying that the pay offer was not good enough.
She explained that her husband and herself both work but at the age of 55 she still had to do overtime nearly every day to make ends meet. She added that although she loved her job she felt disillusioned and let down by Royal Mail management.
Dominic Beck, a postal worker from Fulham in London said it was management who made the executive decisions to virtually give away money by their poor investments in interests across the globe.
"They have the cheek then to say it is us people [meaning the workers] who have got to put the business back on its feet.
"This is the action of bully-boy management who have the incentive to make £800 bonuses at the moment."
In The Socialist 13 September 2003: