Postal workers are facing huge challenges and it is urgent that our CWU union gets its act together quickly.
Royal Mail is pushing through a series of mail centre and delivery office closures, attacking our pensions and ripping up the post office network.
Bosses are out to break the CWU’s strength in order to slash jobs and increase the amount of work. The government is threatening moves towards privatisation.
That is why we will be protesting at Labour’s conference on Monday. But protests need to be backed up by harder-hitting action.
The CWU conference this year passed a motion for a national ballot over all the key issues. But we are still waiting for this to happen.
And an issue over the use of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) this week has sent worrying signals about what management thinks it can get away with.
We have specific issues over PDAs, but the underlying principle is that we should not have new working methods without an agreement with the union about their use – and there isn’t one over PDAs.
Royal Mail management in north London instructed delivery drivers to start using PDAs at the end of last week.
Despite threats of suspension, drivers refused to use them. Drivers at N9 and N18 were kept inside doing other work. This did not break their resistance.
But the union issued a statement that said, “Both Royal Mail and the CWU are keen to avoid any flashpoints regarding the deployment of PDAs and CWU branches should continue to cooperate with the rollout/deployment of the PDAs.”
This was disappointing for those of us who had organised against this introduction of PDAs. The promised national fightback over the attacks we face cannot come soon enough!
On 1 and 2 October some 500 CWU reps meet for a national briefing. This must launch the resistance.