Socialist Worker

Fight for strikes as union bashing Royal Mail fat cats cream £500,000 a day

Issue No. 2576

CWU protest outside court last week

CWU protest outside court last week


Royal Mail fat cats have been paid more than £500,000 a day since privatisation, new figures revealed on Tuesday of this week.

More than £620 million in dividends were paid out to non-employee shareholders between October 2013 and April of this year.

But despite raking it in, Royal Mail’s top bosses are desperate to drive workers’ pay down

Bosses won a court battle last Thursday to delay a postal workers’ strike. Members of the CWU union had been gearing up for a 48-hour national strike this week in a battle over pay, pensions and conditions.

But Royal Mail bosses ran to the high court for an injunction that delays the action for at least seven weeks.

They said an agreement signed by CWU leaders in 2013 stops the union from calling national strikes unless they’ve been through five weeks of external mediation.

It means the CWU will have to take part in five more weeks of talks, and then give another two weeks’ notice, before postal workers can legally strike. The workers are determined to keep fighting—and say bosses’ action has only strengthened their resolve. Many say they’re still ready to strike in December—Royal Mail’s busiest time of the year.

Around 100 CWU members protested outside the Royal Courts of Justice in central London as the hearing took place.

Postal worker Linford Gibbons told Socialist Worker, “If the ruling goes against us it will just make us stronger.

“Royal Mail wants to go to mediation. But we are adamant that we’re going to take industrial action if we don’t get an outcome that’s beneficial to everybody.”

The best response to the court ruling would be to strike anyway. Postal workers have a strong tradition of taking unofficial action.

But at the very least the result shouldn’t be allowed to demobilise postal workers. And the union can’t let bosses delay action any further.

CWU activists have to keep the momentum up for a huge national strike—and trade unionists everywhere have to show postal workers they have support.


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