Socialist Worker

The truth about secret Royal Mail ‘union-busting’ plan

Issue No. 2173

Socialist Worker has copies of secret documents that reveal meticulous preparation over how to beat a strike in Royal Mail. Next week’s Socialist Worker will feature an in depth breakdown of the strategy outlined in the secret documents and how it can be challenged.

The ten PowerPoint slides tend to back up the belief that management is provoking the strike as part of a wider plan. Ministers want to use the postal workers as an example to the whole working class of the need for sacrifice and the impossibility of serious resistance.

Not since the great Miners’ Strike of 1984-5 has there been such open planning involving management, government and the police.

The existence of the documents was first revealed by the BBC’s Newsnight programme, and has been followed up in the Guardian newspaper. However neither has looked at it from the perspective of how the document affects workers ability to win the strike.

The document clearly shows that management plans to push through it’s “modernisation” plan “with or without union agreement”. It goes as far as saying that the CWU might be replaced.

One objective is a “new government/political settlement (possibly)” – which points towards a revival of privatisation plans.

It’s also revealing what is not in the document – no concern for the public service, no sense of social responsibility, no thought for the back-breaking work behind bland phrases about “transformation”.

At key moments the ruling class prepares carefully for confrontation and then implement its plan ruthlessly without any concern for pious declarations about “fairness”. Far too often our side is pathetically unready, weak and constrained by illusions cosy talks will sort put everything.

The scale of preparation by the bosses and Labour can lead to despair. Instead these documents underline the need for bold and resolute leadership, and for the union to use all its strength. Royal Mail workers can win.

Socialist Worker's special supplement on the slides and the attempt to break the CWU union will be available online from Tuesday evening, and in print from Socialist Worker sellers on Wednesday morning, 21 October

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