Socialist Worker

‘We want fairness at work for postal workers’

A campaign has been launched for fairness at work for postal workers. John Denton, the CWU union’s London regional secretary, spoke to Socialist Worker.

Issue No. 2021

We’re urging postal workers everywhere to send Royal Mail bosses Allan Leighton and Adam Crozier a postcard we’ve produced which raises three key issues of discrimination.

This began as a London initiative, but we’re hoping it will be taken up nationally. We want to go on the offensive on these questions.

We knew that seniority was going to be a big issue and we wanted to take that up, but put it in a wider context of discrimination by the employer.

Seniority means that duties at work are allocated on the basis of how long you have worked for Royal Mail.

The system was introduced in 1860 to stop people bribing managers or getting easier rounds through corruption of other sorts. Royal Mail say they want to get rid of seniority because it goes against sex, race and age equality laws,

The real reason is that they want management to be able to pick and choose promotions on the basis of how well you toe the line, to reward the blue-eyed boys and girls as they see it.

This is linked to introducing teamworking where someone is plucked from the shopfloor and lords it over their mates.

Seniority is the fairest method of allocating jobs. It also rewards long service which is specifically allowed for in the legislation introduced with the new age equality regulations.

The other issues we have taken up are discrimination against part timers, and new entrants. Part time workers are paid less shift allowance and skills allowances than full time workers when performing the same tasks.

New entrants with less than 12 months service do not receive the same sick pay entitlements as those with over a year’s service. Even if they suffer an industrial injury they still receive no sick pay.

Sick absences go on their record and they are covered by a stricter attendance system than other members of staff. This is grossly unfair.

Materials for the campaign are available by phoning 020 7336 8371 or e-mailing john@cwulondon.org


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Sat 7 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2021
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