Royal Mail is out to slash thousands of jobs and shut scores of mail centres.
Unless the national CWU union follows its London division to ballot for strikes, the firm will get away with its attack without a fight.
Bosses have this month threatened to shut mail centres in Derby, Nottingham and Worcester. These closures are in addition to the raft already announced.
The company is using a national agreement signed with the CWU union at the end of last year’s dispute to insist there can be no resistance.
It is clear that some in the union agree. But it is also clear that many postal workers can be won to a fightback (see below).
This week, CWU members in the union’s powerful London division begin voting on a strike to save jobs.
“We need action, and we need it quickly,” says CWU rep Paul Turnbull.
“We’ve been fighting to save the mail centre in Stevenage. It’s been a good campaign so far, but to win we are going to need strikes.”
Paul says that bosses want the union to stand by the national agreement, but are not interested in the parts of the deal that were supposed to safeguard jobs.
“It’s one rule for them, and another for us,” he said.
“In a time of recession, with so many people looking for work, the union must not be in the business of selling jobs—by either voluntary or compulsory redundancy.
“We should be about national resistance instead.”