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Postal Workers Fight Back
THE STAKES in the Royal Mail pay dispute have risen higher in the wake of the determined mood shown by the postal members at the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) conference.
The planned ballot for industrial action will go ahead but it will be linked to a battle against plans to cut 30,000 staff.
Royal Mail is claiming the pay offer is worth 14.5% over 18 months but the union has pointed out that, taking the strings into account, it is actually only worth 4.5%, 3% from October and 1.5% next April.
"Royal Mail is pretending that the offer is 10% more than this but that extra money depends on the union accepting more strings than the Philharmonic Orchestra" said CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward.
The union had previously accepted the principle of voluntary redundancies but clearly the mood from the membership has pushed the union leadership to make a stand.
In a letter to members this week, Dave Ward said: "We intend to widen the debate so that people understand there is no way that a public service can be run effectively on the basis of 30,000 jobs being ripped out of the industry."
160,000 CWU members will be balloted over the next few weeks, which could result in the first national postal strike for seven years.
In The Socialist 9 August 2003: