Socialist Worker

CWU debates payments to New Labour

Issue No. 1995

THE NATIONAL executive of the CWU union was discussing key motions this week.

The motions show how the political temperature is rising in sections of the union movement.

One motion is proposed by John Holmes, a former member of the Labour Party national executive. It says, “In the wake of recent damaging revelations regarding the secret loans to party funds and the associated honours issue, the failure to secure a Labour majority for the education bill, the continuing occupation of Iraq, and the growing dissatisfaction amongst workers with Tony Blair’s political direction, particularly his failure to repeal anti-union laws, this NEC believes the prime minister should resign and allow an orderly transfer of power to a new leader of the Labour Party as a matter of urgency.”

Another motion called for the CWU to follow in the footsteps of the Unison Labour Link and to suspend funds to Labour because it was attacking members of the CWU.

The mood for revolt was raised when news came through last week that Royal Mail wants the government to unleash postal privatisation.

Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton made a formal request to the department of trade and industry to transfer up to 20 percent of Royal Mail shares to a trust account for employees.

A bosses’ statement said giving workers a stake would “reinforce their commitment to the challenges posed by competition” and “reward them for future success”.

The real aim is to use share bribes as a substitute for increasing basic pay and as an incentive to get workers to accept full privatisation which could see the value of the shares rise.

Labour ministers now have to respond to Leighton’s request.

The union needs to massively step up the pressure to beat off privatisation.

That includes lobbies, protests and motions to conferences.

But it should also include preparations for a strike ballot and suspending money to Labour.


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News
Sat 8 Apr 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1995
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