Socialist Worker

Workers get vote out for Royal Mail battle

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2693

building the ballot

building the ballot (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Postal workers across Britain staged a fresh show of strength on Tuesday as they gear up to vote in a new national strike ballot.

Members of the CWU union held gate meetings at Royal Mail workplaces to say they are all voting yes to strikes in the ballot set to begin on Tuesday of next week.

It comes as their bosses push through a wave of attacks designed to smash up Royal Mail, drive down their conditions and slash thousands of jobs.

Speaking to a meeting at the North London Delivery Centre on Tuesday, CWU area delivery rep Kevin Carey said, “What’s actually happening in offices is no longer a threat—no longer a proposal—it’s actually happening.”

He told Socialist Worker, “The changes will have a massive effect on earnings and a massive effect on jobs. We’re talking thousands upon thousands of job losses if the changes are implemented.”

Royal Mail bosses want to turn some of the firm into a parcels company run for profit. What’s left of the letters company will be run down, and workers’ jobs timed to the second. Workers have already voted to strike—but action was called off after bosses got a court injunction to rule the vote unlawful.

Now bosses are driving changes through.

These include scrapping some sorting machines, changing shift patterns, setting up later deliveries, and introducing electronic clocking in and out.

Some workers at the meeting in north London asked what would happen if bosses take the union to court again. Royal Mail can’t be allowed to use the law to stop action again—workers have to be prepared to defy the courts if necessary.

But for now, union members are working on delivering another thumping strike vote.

“If anything, the intensity of Royal Mail’s changes has got members even more up for taking action,” said Carey.

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