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From The Socialist newspaper, 2 October 2019

Royal Mail dispute: Workers determined to fight bosses' injustices

Renationalise the industry under democratic workers' control

photo A Tice

photo A Tice   (Click to enlarge)

Robert McArdle, Coventry Communications Workers Union (CWU) member

A showdown between Royal Mail bosses and 120,000 workers is taking place as jobs and conditions come under attack.

Plans to separate Parcelforce workers into a new limited company and rip up agreements with the CWU have rightly angered the whole workforce. Added to this, many postal workers are experiencing harassment and bullying as more pressure is heaped upon their deliveries.

New technology that was meant to improve work life is being used to spy on workers and punish instead.

The CWU 'Four Pillars' agreement, that was signed up to by Royal Mail management in 2017, is now under review, with a real threat to jobs and services, leading to an accelerated 'race to the bottom' on working conditions.

Suddenly, Royal Mail is pleading poverty when it comes to reducing the working week by one hour under the agreement. But it can afford to give millions of pounds to the new chief executive and shareholders!

Faced with the prospect of massive job losses and hard fought gains by trade unionists over the years, CWU members are determined to fight back. Up and down the country, gate meetings have been taking place to secure a massive 'yes' vote in the ballot.

Expressed anger

Rank-and-file CWU members have joined forces to express their anger. Social media has been ablaze with videos and photos as workers display their unity and strength, determined to beat the restrictive Tory anti-trade union laws and tackle the culture of bullying in the workplace.

All the warnings about the dangers of privatising Royal Mail back in 2013 are now beginning to unfold. Driven by the desire to reward shareholders and fat cat bosses - workers are expected to pay the price with gig economy working practices.

Postal workers in the CWU are showing that fighting back and collective strength can win the struggle to defend jobs and working conditions. But only a fully nationalised postal service run in the interests of the many not the few, under democratic workers' control, will lead to safeguarding this national treasure. Delivering a massive yes vote in the CWU ballot is the first step in that process.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 2 October 2019:


What we think

Capitalist elite split - fight for a government in the interests of the working class

40 years on: Mandatory reselection more vital for Labour than ever


Brexit

Is a workers' Brexit deal possible?


Fresher's fairs

Freshers fairs 2019: Students impatient for change and determined to fight


News

Battered Boris must go... and all the Tories with him!

Nationalisation only way to safeguard jobs and skills at Wrightbus

Labour's mass social housing pledge

Them&Us


Workplace news

Royal Mail dispute: Workers determined to fight bosses' injustices

PCS general secretary election - Support Marion Lloyd

Bromley libraries strikers proved right

Hull: Construction workers' walkout forces employer to back down

Crown Paints dispute - union senior steward speaks out

End low pay - support Salford Royal security workers' action

Karro Foods victory Hull


International socialist news and analysis

Catalonia independence movement two years on

Egypt: Street protests challenge Trump's favourite dictator


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Socialism 2019: An unmissable event

Now is the moment to join the Socialist Party

Financing socialist struggle


Reader's opinion

The Socialist inbox

Active and strong member of Socialist Party reaches 80


 

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Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleA day in the life of an agency worker

triangleRoyal mail management forced to make concessions

triangleRoyal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks

triangleStop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

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triangleHelp fund a challenge to austerity at the ballot box - donate today!

triangleMass protests in Russia against Putin regime

triangleLow-paid hospital workers strike

triangleBritish Gas engineers continue strike against fire-and-rehire plans

CWU:

triangleOpenreach and EE: Massive vote for action

trianglePeterborough CWU have massively voted for strike action

triangleFight BT redundancies

Jobs:

triangleUnison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

trianglePoverty wages: When workers can't afford to self-isolate

Postal workers:

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

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