What sort of action is needed to defend postal workers from management and government attacks?
hat is the key question as some 500 CWU union reps gather to discuss a national strike ballot at a National Policy Forum on Wednesday and Thursday of this week.
It is clear that CWU members are ready for action over privatisation.
Some 115,000 workers across Royal Mail could be involved in a fight against the government.
Around a third of the workforce has already been lost as bosses gear up for privatisation, which will drag down standards and wages.
Under privatisation there would be no obligation to deliver all 26 million letters a day that the Royal Mail currently handles.
Building a big vote for action in a ballot can be part of building momentum for striking in the autumn.
Other workers are preparing to battle the Tories. The teachers’ NUT and NASUWT unions are on strike in the autumn. They have regional strikes in October and a plan for a national teachers strike in November.
Civil service workers in the PCS union are being consulted over the next phase of their national campaign. And firefighters in the FBU are balloting over attacks on their pensions.
The demonstration in defence of the NHS on 29 September outside the Tory party conference in Manchester also provides an opportunity to build the resistance.
Union reps should follow up the national meeting with area-wide meeting to discuss options.
South Central Number One and Eastern Number Four branches submitted amendments to the Policy Forum calling for the Labour Party to come out in support of Royal Mail and commit to renationalising if the Tory plans go ahead.
The admendments have been ruled “out of order”.
Paul Garraway from South Central Number One branch told Socialist Worker, “Our motion fits with motion policy which states that we should be fighting to renationalise Royal Mail if faced with privatisation.”
The branches were planning to challenge the decision not to allow the amendment.
It is important that Labour come out against privatisation and state that they 100 percent support a publicly owned Royal Mail.
It is crucial that members argue for a clear strategy over the strikes and the question of Labour’s commitment of renationalisation.
“The union’s survival depends on the fight against privatisation,” Paul said. “Privatisation will decimate the CWU”.
Ninth walkout in Crown Post Offices
some 4,000 Post Office counter workers in 373 crown post offices around Britain struck on Monday of this week.
They are fighting plans to close and franchise 75 high street branches.
It is the ninth strike of the workers, who are members of the CWU union.
The union accuses employers of deliberately attempting to “manage decline” at the expense of jobs and services, despite the Post Office publishing half-year profits of £61 million in September 2012.
Crown post office workers have not had a pay rise since April 2011.
Bridgwater needs cash
CWU members at Bridgwater Delivery office in Somerset are under severe attack from Royal Mail bosses.
They have struck on five days so far, following a 79 percent “Yes” vote. Further strikes are planned.
Please make out cheques to “Bridgwater Trades Union Council” and send to Dave Chapple CWU, 1 Blake Place, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 5AU.