Socialist Worker

Should the CWU union fund Labour?

Issue No. 2160

The attacks that postal workers are facing are being driven through by Royal Mail bosses who know they have the backing of the Labour government.

Despite this the postal workers’ CWU union continues to spend thousands of pounds in affiliation fees and donations to New Labour.

The London division of the CWU announced last month that it intends to ballot its members on whether they wish to continue the union’s support for Labour.

Paul Cox, a senior CWU rep at the Nine Elms mail centre in south London told Socialist Worker that he believes that his members would deliver a resounding no in any such vote.

Paul said, “We may have forced the government to back-off from privatisation but important battles are still ahead of us.

“There is the question of our pensions and there is the future of Royal Mail as a business.

“Lord Mandelson’s attitude so far has been to throw his toys out of the pram.

“He’s saying, ‘If you won’t accept privatisation, I’m not going to accept that the government is responsible for the deficit in the Royal Mail pension scheme.”

Paul said that this approach has angered many of his workmates, including many who have been lifelong Labour supporters.

“If the party doesn’t start re-engaging with its core supporters then it could lose even more heavily than it did in the recent European elections,” he said.

“It could come third behind the Lib Dems.

“Worse still, we could see the continued growth of the British National Party (BNP).

“That’s not because postal workers will be voting for it in large numbers, but because they will no longer be prepared to go out and put their cross against Labour.

“Some people might think that the growth of the BNP is being overstated.

“But ask yourself this, five years ago could you have predicted that it would win two seats in the European parliament?”

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Tue 14 Jul 2009, 18:56 BST
Issue No. 2160
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