A deal on pay and conditions was thrown into crisis by Royal Mail’s arrogant dismissal of the CWU union this week.
Last week the union’s postal executive indicated it could accept a new offer subject to certain key amendments.
After the executive decision, a national briefing of CWU reps firmed up this approach. The union’s national officials were confident they could achieve progress on these amendments.
But despite several rounds of talks, Royal Mail refused to give an inch. The concessions that management previously made were the result of the pressure from a potential strike ballot and the readiness of workers to take action.
Once the union demobilised the campaign, the pressure was off and management felt they could get away with murder. The postal executive was meeting as Socialist Worker went to press.
Even if the amendments were passed the deal would not give guarantees about a major new agreement on door to door mail (unaddressed advertising material) or the introduction of walk sequencing (technology which could cost thousands of jobs).
Nor would it ensure that full time vacancies won’t be turned into part time jobs. But even those who think these issues can be dealt with later should agree that if the amendments to the deal are rejected then there must be no settlement. And the only effective next step then is to start the strike ballot.