Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/507/3329

From The Socialist newspaper, 25 October 2007

Reject Royal Mail deal: Vote 'No' and reinstate the action

Postal workers up and down the country have taken part in a courageous fight against a vicious management intent on destroying jobs and postal workers' conditions while preparing the industry for privatisation.

Gary Clark , Sub area rep, Scotland No.2 CWU

We have taken both official and unofficial action over the past few months involving the loss of two weeks wages for all posties and for some up to four weeks, which has caused hardship in many cases.

Despite this the strikes remained strong, in fact as solid as they were on day one of the dispute.

Against this background it is with anger that postal workers will view the "deal" that the Communication Workers Union (CWU) postal executive committee (PEC) has agreed to recommend to our members in a ballot. While a few concessions have been won, this agreement will mean a wage cut in real terms and a real attack on terms and conditions with more to come in the near future.

On pay the headline rise of 6.9% over 18 months does not tell the real story. What the management is offering is 5.4% from October 2007 with an extra 1.5% in April 2008 only if local flexibility has been deployed.

With a pay rise due since April 2007 the 5.4% is clearly a false figure and equates to a six month pay freeze from April to October. Over the whole year it only amounts to a pay rise of around 2.8% which is well below the rate of inflation.

Royal Mail have included a one-off lump sum of 175 from savings already made, which is our own money. This all amounts to a wage cut in real terms.

If this was not bad enough the additional pay rise of 1.5% from April next year is only ensured if we implement local 'flexibility'.

The series of unacceptable strings includes immediate operational changes which will include later start times. The deal recommended by the CWU PEC includes the securing of 'grandfather rights' (rights attached to the individual and not the job) on early shift allowances. But this will be lost by 'natural wastage' over time.

So we are supposed to agree to savings for Royal Mail with no real gains for the postal worker and a change in start times that are supposed to take into account individual circumstances "as far as possible." But this guarantees nothing.

Weekend working will cease along with bank holiday work apart from dealing with first class mail. This will be accompanied by the end of Sunday collections from Sunday 21 October representing a major lost of earnings for many members.

Management's one-sided approach on flexibility includes "longs and shorts" which means different daily attendances, for example one day working for seven hours and the next day working nine hours. This will be coupled with a variation of hours. Postal workers could be asked to work an extra 30 minutes a day at short or no notice. This represents a slight concession from the two hours that Royal Mail originally wanted.

During our dispute we resorted to 'doing the job properly' ie not coming in early, taking our full break and not using our cars. As a result mail has been failing day by day so we proved that we don't have enough hours on a daliy basis as it is without more cuts.

They also want to introduce summer staffing where five postal workers will be expected to do the work of six at present.

What the management calls "transforming the way we work" really means that we will have to agree to trials to cover anyone on annual leave or on short term sick leave within our duty time. This will put extra work onto the postal worker. We will only receive our next year's pay "rise" of 1.5% once this is achieved.

The above are termed as phases one to three. In phase four there will be three joint working groups to look at modernisation, consultation and negotiation which will mean future attacks on our terms and conditions.

CWU reps who have had their union facility time taken away will have it restored as part of the deal but we must ensure that all disciplinary procedures against victimised workers are removed.

Despite the management proposals to decouple the issue of pensions from the pay deal their aim remains the same - to remove the final salary pension scheme and replace it with a career average one.

Despite some more concessions being made they have not gone far enough to match the members' aspirations, which have been made clear by the postal workers' massive support for the recent strikes.

The fact that the negotiations between Royal Mail and the CWU negotiators were secret and the lack of information generally from the leadership has meant postal workers have not been sufficiently informed of the negotiations and strategy during the dispute.

It is vital that the left in the CWU and new union activists in the union organise to build for a massive No vote in the forthcoming ballot. We need to send a clear message to management and our union leaders that we will not accept these attacks and be walked over. We can and must continue the fight to defend our wages, conditions and pensions through both official and unofficial means. This fight is far from over. Vote No and reinstate the strike action.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 25 October 2007:

Public health not private wealth

Join the 3 November NHS demonstration

NHS: What the Socialist Party says

March to save the NHS

Michael Moore's latest film 'Sicko' reviewed

Huddersfield SOS: Class fighters' bold initiative


Postal dispute

Reject Royal Mail deal: Vote 'No' and reinstate the action

Striking Liverpool postal workers return to work


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Why workers need a new party

Respect in crisis - what lessons for socialists?


Socialism 2007

Socialism 2007


Socialist Party feature

Pakistan: Suicide bombings at Bhutto rally


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion threat increases regional instability

Release Saburi Akande Akinola, Taiwo Hassan Soweto and Olatunde Dairo now

France: Biggest public transport strike action since 1995


Socialist Party women

Do women still have the 'right to choose'?


Socialist Party news and analysis

Liberal Democrat leadership: Two candidates, one background, no answers

Classroom assistants challenge the Stormont Assembly

Who's to blame for teenage obesity?


Workplace news and analysis

Glasgow: On strike for a fair deal

Train drivers prepare for action

Fight Cadbury's factory closure

Teachers' union election time to change!

BBC threatens hundreds of jobs


 

Home   |   The Socialist 25 October 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Postal dispute:

trianglePostal dispute: Bosses still on the attack

CWU:

triangleSwansea Parcelforce workers picket depot in support of victimised rep

triangleUnions must back a general election and oppose bosses' EU

triangleCommunication workers oppose second EU vote, and back new socialist 'Clause IV' for Labour

triangleManchester posties strike against bullying

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

10/7/19

Lancashire

Victory for Stagecoach bus strikers!

9/7/19

Bradford

Bradford: Unison members strike to stay 100% NHS

9/7/19

Plymouth

Academy strike - standing up to 'bullying' management forces climbdown

9/7/19

Liverpool

Residents, housing activists and pensioners mobilise to stop eviction

3/7/19

Socialist Party

Socialist Party secures new offices

3/7/19

NUS

Lincoln Uni NUS disaffiliation: a question of on-campus democracy

3/7/19

Cumbria

Carlisle Labour/Lib Dem coalition cuts care home beds

3/7/19

NSSN

Sick of your boss? Join a union! Come to NSSN conference

3/7/19

PCS

New group launched to fight general secretary election

3/7/19

College

Stourbridge: Keep our college!

3/7/19

The Socialist

Sell the Socialist and take out an e-subscription

3/7/19

Coventry

Coventry says no to congestion charge

3/7/19

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity Day: Linking up oppressed people's struggles

3/7/19

Barking

Angry Barking residents protest outside sales office

3/7/19

Birmingham

Birmingham uni workers strike against terms and conditions attacks

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999