Socialist Worker


Issue No. 1801

POSTAL WORKERS should vote no to the pay deal cooked up by union leaders and bosses. It has just gone out to ballot. Three months ago 145,000 Royal Mail workers voted two to one for strikes over a 2 percent pay offer. The union was demanding 5 percent for this year.

Instead of calling strikes the union leaders held more talks. Meanwhile post bosses announced mass job losses and more links with the private sector. Management then offered 4.5 percent over two years, plus a further 2.2 percent if workers accepted punishing new delivery arrangements. The union threatened a strike over the delivery plans being linked to the pay offer.

The employers were worried about forcing a strike over this issue in case workers in struggle then raised other questions. So Royal Mail postponed a confrontation over the delivery arrangements and persuaded union leaders to recommend essentially the same pay deal that had led to the strike vote in the first place.

Workers will get a 2.2 percent rise backdated to October 2001 and a further 2.3 percent from 15 October this year. The original demand for a 5 percent rise for this year alone has been dumped.

A rejection of this pay offer and a demand for strikes would be a good first step in taking on the bigger issues. A taste of what could be in store came this week when the Dutch Post Office announced that it planned to use its own staff to deliver mail in Britain if it gets a licence to compete.

It had been assumed that competition would take place mainly in delivery and sorting. But now it's obvious there could soon be several different postal firms turning up at the same address to deliver for different firms.

The new issue of Post Worker, the rank and file paper, leads on rejection of the pay deal. For copies phone 07904 157 779.

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Sat 25 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1801
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