London postal workers have voted by a huge majority to reject management’s paltry offer over pay, and to move towards a strike ballot.
Bosses have offered a rise in London weighting of just £50 over two years – an increase of just 47p a week!
On Friday of last week, the Communication Workers Union (London) announced the result of a consultative ballot.
Over 23,500 ballot papers were issued and, on a turnout of 63 percent, 98 percent voted to reject the offer and 97 percent voted that they were willing “to take whatever steps are necessary, including an industrial action ballot, in order to force Royal Mail to offer a realistic and just settlement”.
London divisional rep Mark Palfrey, said, “London weighting should have been settled in April. These two ballot results clearly demonstrate the depth of frustration that exists among our members, and how in tune the union is with the membership.
“Now Royal Mail and Post Office Limited have to reach a satisfactorly settlement or our members’ patience is going to run out and the union will have no option but to ballot for industrial action.”
John Denton, London regional secretary, told Socialist Worker, “The result shows that union reps really engaged with the membership.
“Management have said they are willing to talk, but they haven’t named any dates for such meetings. Unless there is a much better offer, our members have made it absolutely clear they want a strike ballot.”
The idea of a consultative ballot mirrors the method used in 2003. An overwhelming vote at that time led to an official ballot and strike.
Eventually London workers accepted a much-improved deal on weighting, but this has not been updated properly. London reps were meeting this week to decide the next moves.
A London CWU member said, “The vote needs to lead to action. I hope that our national leadership will be ready to back us all the way. This is a battle for increases in London weighting and also a protest about how our money is being devalued by the incredible rises in house prices, fuel bills and so on.
“We have had enough of talking. The national union must take official action or we will be forced to consider what we should do ourselves.”
The series of local strike ballots and disputes continues.
Postal workers in Manvers, South Yorkshire, were due to strike this week, Bristol and Birmingham mail centres are balloting, as are the Fareham and Havant offices near Portsmouth and Nottingham central delivery office.
A range of management attacks on jobs, staffing levels, overtime and union rights lie behind the ballots. The national executive said it would consider national action unless bosses stopped the local offensives. It is time to turn those words into action.