Socialist Worker

We deserve our share of the profits in the post

by postal workers in Preston, Newcastle and London
Issue No. 1932

THE GUERRILLA warfare in many delivery offices over the last few months over the £26.28 a week bonus may be coming to an end. And, in general, our side has had the best of it.

The bonus is paid for hitting targets after the introduction of the Single Daily Delivery system. At a number of offices there have been bitter rows about what the target is, whose work should be counted, what equipment is provided and a range of other questions.

Preston was due to start a three-day strike last week over claims that workers had not received 31 weeks bonuses they had earned in the past. Management had offered money for just three weeks.

After intense discussions, and with the threat of strikes hanging over them, bosses conceded ten weeks money. Some of us were not quite convinced this was enough, but it means we have won £260 through a day’s strike.

The settlement at Preston triggered a national agreement covering 8,000 workers.

Around 6,000 will get the £26.28, 1,200 get £20 and 1,000 are left with £10.

Offices which have been in dispute, such as Gateshead (where there was a short walkout last week), Gosport and Havant have now settled.

There are still outstanding issues at Northampton.

Many of us were against the basic deal which led to these bonuses—it meant job losses and has encouraged people to have a narrow, office-based agenda rather than thinking about the whole workforce. But if we are to have this system then we have to fight hard to get the most out of Royal Mail.

Now let’s pull the union together. In January we’re launching our basic pay campaign.

Royal Mail is celebrating £400 million profits. We deserve our share.

We don’t want privatisation or private operators taking our work. We want to fight for a quality public service with a workforce on reasonable money and in good conditions.

Bob Gibson, the CWU union assistant secretary, is absolutely right to call for us to unite, forget about any divisions in the past—and win.

The last pay campaign was a disaster, with the ballot going down and the union under intense pressure until it was saved by rank and file action.

Let’s make sure 2005 is our year.


Counters

RESULTS WERE expected this week from strike ballots at 350 post offices across Britain.

For the last 30 years post offices have closed at 12.30pm on Christmas Eve—but not this year.

The Department for Work and Pensions is insisting that benefit payments cannot be made earlier in the week—as is usual when there is a bank holiday—and must be paid only on the day before this public holiday.

So managers say counters need to stay open until 4pm. It’s a disgrace that we should have to work up to the last minute on Christmas Eve.

And why shouldn’t benefit claimants be allowed to enjoy whatever money they do get in good time for Christmas?


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Article information

News
Sat 18 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1932
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