THERE ARE four key aspects to the deal agreed on Monday:
1 - No to the bosses' charter
The bosses' charter that managers insisted Southall, Dartford and Greenford workers must sign to go back to work has been ripped up. Bosses wanted to force new delivery, overtime, holiday and Christmas arrangements on these groups of workers and then implement them nationally. They would also have made the union far weaker and effectively derecognised. Those deals have gone. This is the central success of the strikes. They have saved the union as a fighting organisation.
2 - No victimisation of union reps
Royal Mail hoped to target union reps who were 'problem-starters'-in other words, people who stood up for workers' rights and against management's assaults. That drive has been blocked.
3 - Arrangements for deliveries
It is true there are moves towards a single delivery everywhere. But the deal stops the new system being introduced piecemeal with weaker areas being harassed into terrible conditions. There will be a national, negotiated delivery scheme with a deadline of 10 December. In addition (and unusually for the period after a strike) workers can do overtime to clear the backlog, and make up for the money they lost.
4 - Who was to blame for the strike?
Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier has written a letter saying the union will not be sued and saying that the CWU was not responsible for the strikes. If the union wasn't to blame, who was? Royal Mail and its bullying managers! Major issues about deliveries, arrangements in the processing centres and in the transport division will be discussed at ACAS.
Activists are rightly against going to ACAS, but there is a big difference between the rampant management offensive which Royal Mail began with and what it is forced into now-looking for compromises and negotiating with the union leaders.
Every activist must watch their leaders very carefully and keep up the pressure to ensure that they do not now negotiate away what has been won on the picket line. Keep fighting against job losses, against speed-ups, and for £4,000 London weighting.