Postal workers will soon start voting on strikes over pay, privatisation and job cuts.
The 130,000 workers in Royal Mail (the sorting and delivery workers) have been offered only a 2.5 percent pay increase, around half the rate of inflation.
And that comes with strings that will mean harder working, and a business plan that points towards 40,000 job losses.
The voting in the ballot starts next Tuesday.
Across Britain postal workers in the CWU union are preparing for the battle.
Dave Kennedy, branch secretary of Northwest Central CWU, based in Stockport, told Socialist Worker, “We’re gearing up for a setpiece showdown – and the CWU will win.”
At a meeting with the union this week, Royal Mail bosses insisted they were going to carry on with their job?slashing, conditions-cutting business plan – and drive it through, if necessary, at local level without agreement with the union.
This is a declaration of war.
Royal Mail has made it clear that it thinks postal workers are overpaid and underworked. Management has set out a clear aim to pay “market rates” – which it defines as pay cuts of a third.
Meanwhile chief executive Adam Crozier – one of only three public sector officials on over £1 million a year – says it is “just not tenable” to pay postal workers the average wage of all British workers.
The battle in the post is a key struggle for all workers – especially those in the public sector.
The CWU must use all its strength and not back off without a clear victory. It should seek to coordinate action with other workers who are fighting the government, like those in the civil service.