Socialist Worker

Don’t let Royal Mail stop the fight

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2583

CWU general secretary Dave Ward outside the high court in October. A judge ordered the union into mediation

CWU general secretary Dave Ward outside the high court in October. A judge ordered the union into mediation (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Postal workers’ union leaders looked set to announce at least parts of a possible agreement with Royal Mail bosses on Tuesday of this week. The CWU union has been in negotiation with bosses in a dispute over pensions, pay and conditions.

CWU leaders were set to brief members of the union’s postal executive committee and senior officials on the recommendations of an external mediator on Tuesday.

The union called off a two-day strike in October after the high court granted bosses an injunction and ordered them into mediation with bosses.

It followed a massive vote for strikes by CWU members—89 percent on a 73 percent turnout. The union waged a campaign that involved thousands of postal workers in mass gate meetings.

The mediator released her report outlining recommendations to end the dispute to the CWU last Thursday.

A letter to CWU branches last Friday said that, “The union’s campaign and the magnificent ballot result has altered the mood of the talks, strengthened the CWU’s negotiating stance and significantly changed the dynamics of the negotiations.”

Angrily

It also said further talks were planned. Union members reacted angrily when the letter was posted on the CWU’s Facebook page. Some felt that they had been kept in the dark.

Others felt that union leaders had let the campaign lose momentum—or allowed Royal Mail to delay strikes until after Christmas.

One said, “Striking will hasten the talks—get on with it!”

Any loss of momentum is dangerous.

If bosses have been forced to make concessions, that’s because the ballot result and campaign showed that workers are prepared to take serious, hard-hitting action.

But strikes will surely mean workers can win more—and union leaders must call action immediately if mediation doesn’t end with key demands met.


On our list

Socialist Worker says there must be strikes unless there is a deal that

  • Includes a single pension scheme for all workers in the industry that guarantees a wage in retirement
  • 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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