Socialist Worker

Vote no to Royal Mail deal

Issue No. 2194

Any postal worker wondering how to vote on the deal to end their dispute should look at the Royal Mail managers’ briefing on the proposed agreement.

The document underlines just how much the bosses think they have won (» download here [472kb PowerPoint]).

The slides of the briefing detail what CWU union leaders have signed up to. This includes:

  • Unrestricted delivery spans
  • Full day Saturdays
  • New delivery model and methods
  • Unaddressed mail built into workload
  • Need for mail centre, RDC, MDEC and Network rationalisation agreed
  • Raising productivity levels to that of the best offices within three years

In addition it celebrates the fact that “all new machinery, technology, equipment and working methods” have been accepted and that there is CWU support for higher productivity levels.

The overall tone is conveyed by the first line: “It enables modernisation to proceed through agreement at the pace we need.”

If this is indeed, as they say, “a new start to industrial and employee relations”, it’s one that would be disastrous for postal workers.

CWU union leaders are going round Britain trying to persuade unit reps to accept the deal.

But there is very little enthusiasm for it.

David Wilshire, branch secretary of the Bristol and district CWU branch, told Socialist Worker that his branch committee had unanimously rejected the deal.


“There were three key issues for us,” he said.

“First, the deal has winners and losers – and we don’t believe you join a union to be a loser.

“Second, the longer Saturdays in delivery will play havoc with people’s lives. It’s bad enough having to work at weekends, but at least the present arrangements mean you get away a bit earlier on the Saturday.

“Making it a normal day tears up your life.

“Whether that’s spending time with your family or going to football or whatever, it’s now gone.

“Finally, there is no certainly about a single mail centre’s future. There is no guarantee that our mail centre, or anybody else’s, will survive the review process that’s being initiated.”

North Lancs and Cumbria branch has also recommended a no vote.

Mark Dolan, a senior union rep in north London, told Socialist Worker that the scale of opposition among delivery workers is giving the union leadership a fright.

“My members are rightly asking why we’ve accepted extra work for a pay cut.

“Our strikes forced some concessions from Royal Mail, but we must get more.

“Postal workers should vote no to the deal.”

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Article information

Tue 23 Mar 2010, 19:30 GMT
Issue No. 2194
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