Socialist Worker

Post workers’ mass gate meetings show the fight is still on at Royal Mail

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2579

Postal workers at a gate meeting in Forest Hill

Postal workers at a gate meeting in Forest Hill (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Postal workers held mass gate meetings at Royal Mail workplaces across Britain on Tuesday as time ran down on bosses’ attempts to delay a strike.

CWU union members held the day of action to keep up momentum in their dispute over pay, pensions and conditions.

They are currently in a period of mediation launched by bosses as a delaying tactic. But there’s clearly still anger and a mood to fight among postal workers. One gate meeting in Wigan on Tuesday turned into a two hour unofficial walkout, amid allegations that bosses were targeting two workers.

The walkout ended after management promised an investigation into workers’ complaints.

Strong

And at a gate meeting in south east London postal worker Steve told Socialist Worker, “We’re still strong and positive—that’s not going to go away. So if we don’t get an agreement, we’re going to go out.”

The meetings came on the same day CWU officials and Royal Mail bosses held their second meeting with an external mediator.

The high court ordered the CWU into mediation after Royal Mail bosses won an injunction to stop a strike last month.

An agreement signed between the CWU and bosses in 2013 indicates mediation could last at least another three weeks from Tuesday.

But the CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger has said he won’t let bosses use the mediation to delay strikes any longer than that.

A message to workers on Tuesday said, “Unless Royal Mail make a significantly improved offer we will be serving notice for industrial action as soon as mediation ends.”

Strikes must go ahead unless there is a deal that:

  • Guarantees a pension scheme for all workers in the industry, not just those who’ve worked there the longest
  • Gives workers an above-inflation pay rise not linked to productivity deals
  • Guarantees that workers aren’t forced to change their hours to fit in with Royal Mail’s profit drive
  • Gives workers a shorter working week—without loss of pay

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