On 26 June a battle will begin that will decide the future of every postal worker for years to come. It will be the start of the national strike ballot process.
Even before the ballot has been declared, management are going on the offensive. At the Preston mail centre bosses went on to the floor last week with clipboards asking individuals which way they were going to vote in the ballot.
A CWU rep told Socialist Worker, “We were told this had been agreed at an area management meeting and that it was a national policy—although it seems it is not.
“Our members were hostile to what was happening, but in some ways management are doing our jobs for us. They are spreading the message that a vote is coming.”
Royal Mail has imposed a pay rise worth just 2.4 percent.
The deal itself is bad enough. But the real issue is the fact that Royal Mail has arrogantly pushed the union aside and simply imposed the rise.
This dispute is centrally about the bosses’ decision to smash the union in order to ram through a whole range of assaults that would transform the industry.
Royal Mail chairman Allan Leighton is pressing the government to start privatising the post. He says his share issue to staff may be announced soon.
A CWU member says, “In every area of the union there are great plans for meetings and literature arguing our case. For example, London and the South East are distributing 30,000 leaflets, and posters and stickers.
“The Midlands has a detailed plan of meetings for every office with special attention to areas where there is no rep, or there might be problems because of management intimidation.
“The South West and South Wales has plans for gate meetings. We should take the best from every area and implement it nationally, and we should turn good ideas on paper into activity – everywhere.”
We must make sure that the loyalty that some people feel for government ministers does not get in the way of the action.
Royal Mail is trying to intimidate workers. If an office is forced to take action as a result of such attacks, or some unagreed changes, then we all need to offer full support.
For Socialist Worker’s leaflet for postal workers go to www.swp.org.uk or phone 020 7819 1175