Socialist Worker

Post bosses retreat, but don’t trust them

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2712

Royal Mail workers showed in February they were ready to fight

Royal Mail workers showed in February they were ready to fight (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Royal Mail bosses and CWU union leaders have said they are working on a deal that could end their latest long-running dispute over jobs and working conditions.

In a statement Royal Mail and the CWU said they were beginning discussions on resolving the dispute, as well as “changes” to the company.

It comes after former chief executive Rico Back stepped down from his job following the threat of widespread unofficial walkouts by workers in May.

Postal workers have twice geared up for national strikes against plans to smash up Royal Mail, costing thousands of jobs.

They voted overwhelmingly to strike in October last year. But planned action was called off after bosses used a court injunction to rule their ballot unlawful.


Another overwhelming vote for action was delayed at the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Back wanted to split up Royal Mail into a parcels company run for profit, and a letters company that would be run down.

His plans involved transferring Parcelforce workers over to a new private parcels company and pushing through “restructures” in Royal Mail workplaces.

But after CWU members threatened widespread walkouts over a threat to ditch Saturday deliveries, Back resigned.

Now his temporary replacement appears to have dropped plans to transfer Parcelforce workers, as well as many of the localised attacks on conditions.

Bosses also pledged to agree a pay deal for 2020.

The statement between union leaders and bosses also says they “support” protections of jobs and conditions—but that those are up for “review”.

This is because bosses still want to reorganise Royal Mail to cope with falling letter volumes and an increase in parcels. Any plan for Royal Mail has to be on the basis of running a service based on public need—not the needs of shareholders.

Workers shouldn’t accept any deal that asks them to make sacrifices for bosses’ profits.




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