Socialist Worker

Vote to strike against rotten Royal Mail privatisation plan

by Mark Dolan, CWU area delivery rep, north London
Issue No. 2372

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is balloting its members for the first national strike in the post for four years. The ballot runs from 27 September to 16 October.

Royal Mail bosses are losing the propaganda war in the delivery offices and mail centres. No matter what rubbish they churn out, almost every postal worker knows that privatisation will be terrible for their wages, pensions and conditions.

Just a glance at the workers’ terms offered by TNT, Royal Mail’s private sector rival, shows what is at stake. TNT pay is £4.25 an hour less than basic pay for Royal Mail delivery staff. 

Many TNT workers are on zero hour contracts. Whereas in Royal Mail we are all guaranteed a minimum number of hours.

Our last national strike, in 2009, did not win all that it could have done—but it did force the company to sign up to some important principles.

Royal Mail agreed to no compulsory redundancies. It agreed not to implement changes to working practices without negotiating them with the union. 

And it agreed that postal workers would be given a significant sum if they were asked to move offices.

This did not just fall from the sky. We had to fight hard through strikes to force the company to accept the terms. 

Now the battle is to ensure the union, and what it stands for, stays at the heart of the industry. 

Everyone knows that Royal Mail bosses will try and wear down our union once we are in the private sector. No wonder the lies we are told in the company briefings we all have to attend go down like a lead balloon.

Our chief executive, Moya Greene, has offered every worker £2,000 worth of shares—worth far less after tax.

We should remember what happened to Royal Mail’s Colleague Share bonus system. When that was scrapped we all lost hundreds of pounds—despite meeting the company’s targets. Who was the person behind that robbery? Why, Moya Greene, of course.

That’s why the mood for a national strike in the post is so strong. And it’s why everyone should do their best to turnout a thumping yes vote in the strike ballot.

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Article information

Tue 24 Sep 2013, 17:50 BST
Issue No. 2372
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