Unless Royal Mail backs off, a battle is coming soon in the post.
A further meeting with the CWU union took place last week over pay. Incredibly, bosses are insisting there can be no basic pay rise at all. Not the 2 percent limit, not a staged increase – no increase.
All that’s on offer is a range of lump sums that vary from £250 to £500 depending on grade.
And these are linked to a raft of 22 conditions.
These include the complete removal of payment for delivery of election material, removal of door to door (unaddressed mail) payments, absorbing short term sick leave between five delivery walks, a crackdown on sickness, and the removal of all night shifts.
Union leaders then offered management that we would not call any industrial action on efficiency issues in local offices if they would back off from imposing changes through managerial executive action.
Such moratoriums have generally helped Royal Mail, and they might have been expected to accept it. But this time they rejected it out of hand.
They are up for a fight. Are we?
The union says it is preparing the ground for an industrial action ballot. We have been here before (almost a year ago) when we went through a long campaigning process but did not actually strike.
There must be no backing off this time without a clear victory which resolves all the outstanding issues, defends our pensions and gives us a pay rise of at least 5 percent – the minimum needed to keep up with inflation.
We need to push for a strike, and must strive to fight alongside other public sector workers.
We should also demand there are no efficiency deals at local level. The union has said previously, “It is essential that all CWU branches support the position agreed by the national executive of non-cooperation at local level on efficiency and budget savings and changes to attendance times, until such time as a national agreement has been reached.”
This needs to be followed by every branch – and the national union must support those workers who get pressure from Royal Mail as a result.