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Royal Mail workers on course to deliver huge yes vote in national strike ballot

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Issue 2573
Turning out the vote in Long Sutton
Turning out the vote in Long Sutton (Pic: CWU Eastern No5 Branch/Twitter)

There are strong signs that Royal Mail workers are voting massively in favour of strikes to protect their pensions, conditions and to win a pay rise above inflation. The ballot closes next Tuesday.

Terry Pullinger, the union’s deputy general secretary (postal) said, “The CWU postal army is on the march. Management’s plans for the future are a total breach of trust and the promises they made in 2013.

“Our ballot is a vote of no confidence in them as well as a referendum on the future that workers deserve.”

Indications from CWU reps and messages on social media indicate the strike ballot will surpass the 50 percent turnout threshold demanded by anti-union laws.

The union has announced there have been over 1,000 membership meetings during the ballot campaign.

Alan, a CWU member in the West Midlands, told Socialist Worker, “I’ve never seen anything like this. Everyone is really engaged in the ballot.

“People go to the box together to post their ballot forms.

“Anyone who hasn’t voted yet is getting a lot of friendly reminders that they need to exercise their right to vote.


Voting yes in Northampton

Voting yes in Northampton (Pic: JulesCWUrep/Twitter)

“To be honest I wish the strike was tomorrow. I just want to see this mood come out on the picket lines.”

But there must not be the slightest relaxation. Complacency is dangerous.

Every vote matters in piling the pressure on Royal Mail bosses and preparing for a hard-hitting strike.

Many activists expect the first strike to be for at least 48 hours to show bosses the battle is serious.

It should be called as soon as possible after the ballot result.

And then there can be no let up until a deal is won that delivers not just more talks but:

  • A pension scheme for all workers in the industry, not just longer-term employees.
  • An above-inflation pay rise not linked to productivity deals.
  • No compulsion to change hours to fit in with Royal Mail profit maximisation.
  • A shorter working week without loss of pay.

There was huge political support for the CWU’s campaign at Labour’s conference. And it was good to hear Labour’s leaders that Royal Mail will be taken back from the privatisers.

Labour must fully back the strikes. A win in the post can inspire many others to fight.

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