The Socialist 27 October 2021 |
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Royal Mail workers stand against 'unachievable workloads'
Photo: Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
Former Royal Mail worker
Despite the promise of benefiting delivery workers' conditions, the rollout of the 'Pathway to Change Agreement' between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is proving to be the opposite
At Wakefield Delivery Office, West Yorkshire, the agreement rollout of a structural revision resulted in 94% of the workforce voting it down, after it produced unachievable workloads.
However, true to form, management imposed it regardless, leaving the CWU as the only side to stick to the deal. That leaves the very principle of workers' democracy in tatters, and does not protect postal workers open to management bullying, as they are scapegoated for the delay to mail.
This deal was supposed to recover what the union lost under Rico Back's tenure as CEO, when the employer reneged on the previous agreement.
In practice, it has not stopped the employer reverting to type and effectively draining substantially more work out of delivery staff when the working week is due to be reduced by an hour. Unbelievably, that means doing more than before, when they have an hour less to do it in!
So far, the only thing that appears to have been held to is the 2.7% pay rise given this year. The further 1% next year, a promise of no compulsory redundancies, and a legal obligation to prevent the company breaking up are yet to be carried through.
It is obvious from its actions that Royal Mail is not sticking to the agreement and the CWU must suspend these revisions and urgently move to halt the management bullying that has come with them. Policy to remedy the whole situation must be made.
The general public must also be made aware of Royal Mail's drive for profit in the booming packets and parcels market. Forsaking a reliable letter delivery service, in the process, it significantly delays the likes of hospital appointment notices and other vital mail as manpower is under-resourced.