Workers at several Royal Mail workplaces are set to start ballots for local strikes after bosses pushed ahead with major attacks on jobs and working conditions.
CWU union members in at least 15 workplaces, including Southend-on-Sea, Llanelli, Warrington and Fareham could soon strike.
Royal Mail bosses want to push ahead with changes that could see some workers sacked, and force others to work harder for longer.
These include closing some sorting centres and scrapping some sorting machines—costing jobs.
Bosses also want to trial a second delivery for large parcels, done by existing workers whose current workload will be taken up by their colleagues.
And they want to bring in electronic gates to time to the second when workers start and finish.
The moves are part of a wider plan by Royal Mail chief executive Rico Back to smash up and run down the postal service.
His plans would cause at least 20,000 job losses.
CWU officials have been in talks with top Royal Managers since the end of last year. Postal workers had already balloted for national strikes against the attacks, but the ballot was ruled unlawful in the High Court.
CWU deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger said if bosses pushed ahead with changes without the union’s agreement they would ballot for national strikes again.
The union is currently checking its membership records in preparation for a national ballot.
In the meantime, Pullinger said workplaces affected by the changes should ballot for local action.
Yet bosses are using the threat of legal action to undermine the fightback.
Pullinger said that a new national ballot should be run with “less haste, more speed” to dodge a legal challenge. And he also warned workers against taking unofficial action after a court order was used against a wildcat strike in Bootle last year.
Bosses want to use the law to crush the CWU’s tradition of taking unofficial action in defence of jobs and working conditions, and to delay national strikes.
CWU members and their leaders have to be ready to defy the law and strike anyway if it’s used against them—not let bosses stop them fighting back.