Socialist Worker

Royal Mail: London bosses retreat

Issue No. 2258

Postal workers in London have called off planned strikes after Royal Mail bosses backed down over compulsory redundancies.

Management hoped it could slash thousands of jobs by closing the Bow Locks and Nine Elms mail centres, and the giant Rathbone Place delivery office.

But CWU union members in the threatened offices voted convincingly for strikes.

They also won the backing of the national union, which agreed to spread the dispute if Royal Mail attempted to move mail from London without agreement.

The deal to end the dispute accepts the office closures but not the compulsory job losses.

Workers who relocate will get increased payouts, and no one will be expected to commute for more than an hour to their new workplace. And, in some cases, the company has agreed to lay on transport to help those transferring.

The threat of a London strike, and solidarity from across Britain, forced their hand.

Some activists are now asking whether more could have been won if the union had taken industrial action.

The closure of two of London’s biggest mail centres will certainly make it harder for workers in the capital to flex their industrial muscle in the future.

But, says senior CWU rep Mark Dolan, the task for union activists is to spread the militant spirit of London to the new and newly-expanded mail centres that ring the capital.

“Management wanted to get rid of hundreds of the best activists, and they failed,” he told Socialist Worker.

“The task now is to make the mail centres that people are transferring to as strong as the ones they are closing.”

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Tue 28 Jun 2011, 17:57 BST
Issue No. 2258
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