Serious objections to the proposed deal to end the dispute in Royal Mail have been heard at a series of briefings for CWU union reps.
The strength of last year’s strikes forced Royal Mail to make concessions. And management continued to do so right up to this week, agreeing four day weeks at a series of London offices.
“They were fearful to put the deal out to ballot until these issues had been sorted in London,” a CWU rep told Socialist Worker.
At many of the briefings the majority of union reps gave a grudging acceptance to the deal—or more accurately a sense that there is not much alternative to it.
But other speakers pointed out that it will clear the way for tens of thousands of job losses, that it means many workers taking a pay cut and that Saturday will become a normal working day in deliveries.
The deal has not won any guarantees about outstanding pension issues.
The pension fund is reported to have a deficit of up to £10 billion, and if the government does not guarantee it then management will demand further cuts.
Yet the union is putting this deal to its members without being sure that any funding will be forthcoming.
The alternative to acceptance is to say no and then demand the reopening of talks—as happened when the Way Forward agreement was thrown out in 1999.
And if Royal Mail will not shift then the union must campaign for action again.