POST OFFICE bosses want to renegotiate the industrial relations framework with the union. Managers have already given three months notice of withdrawing support for the current executive, divisional and area structures.
The proposals include: the postal executive elected every five years rather than annually; the CWU to change its structure whenever management changes the business structure; unit reps elected every three years rather than annually; CWU to use more 'focus groups' and seminars; outside arbitration for disagreements, and many other measures.
Far from creating a 'modern union', the idea is to weaken rank and file control of the CWU and make it easier for bosses to ram through what they want. The bosses' document is particularly outraged by the way local union reps sometimes do not jump to their leaders' call, especially when there is unofficial industrial action.
It is crucial that all these measures are fought. CWU members must demand their leaders do not waver.
THE STRIKE ballot over the Romec joint enterprise with Balfour Beauty is off-again. Bosses offered last week to delay the plan for three months, hours before the union was due to ballot its members.
The union has given the postal group a two-week ultimatum to agree to concessions before it asks 180,000 Consignia members to vote on a series of one-day walkouts. Bosses are clearly worried by the possibility of a national strike. The union's mistake is to treat each particular issue as a separate dispute without seeing there is a pattern-privatisation.