Socialist Worker


A chance for all to gain over pay

05 April 2003
LONDON POSTAL workers have this week started an unofficial ballot for action to win an improved London weighting. The decision, which was provoked by the failure of the CWU union's pay campaign to deliver results, has caused fierce argument inside the union. Even branches and individuals who would normally back militant action have criticised London for "trying to take money from the rest of the country".

How to win on pay

22 March 2003
AROUND 30,000 postal workers in London begin a consultative ballot on 31 March for action over the London weighting allowance. The region is acting because the national union has refused to launch the campaign. MARK DOLAN, a north London branch official, explains why CWU members should vote yes for action.

Long distance connections

22 March 2003
WORKERS AT 34 BT call centres were to stage protests on Thursday of this week over the company's plans to axe 2,200 jobs and transfer work to India. The battle goes to the heart of debates over capitalist globalisation. Some commentators have argued that opposing BT's plans will hit Indian workers, and so is based on a narrow nationalist outlook. The workers' CWU union has rightly rejected this argument.

Postal workers

23 November 2002
OVER 3,000 postal workers were on the verge of strikes against privatisation as Socialist Worker went to press. Strikes will go ahead unless Royal Mail managers back off completely from their plan to hand the Cash Handling and Distribution (CHD) section over to Securicor. Talks between management and the CWU union were planned to take place this week. On a 67 percent turnout CHD members voted by a remarkable 95 percent for action. Immediately after the vote Royal Mail and Securicor announced they were dropping their original privatisation plan.

Union with the unions?

16 November 2002
THOUSANDS OF trade unionists came to the European Social Forum. Their numbers reflected the rise in workers' struggle in much of Europe. There were members of many British unions present, including the CWU, RMT, Amicus, Unison, PCS, NUJ, Natfhe, Prospect, NUT and TGWU. There were more than 2,000 people at just one of the meetings on trade union struggles.

Key battle looms against privateers

16 November 2002
THOUSANDS OF postal workers could soon be on strike. The result of a strike ballot among 3,500 workers in the cash handling and distribution section was due to be announced this week. Everyone expected it to be a big yes for action and that leaders of the CWU union would have to immediately set out dates for strikes.

Newcastle demonstration against privatisation

19 October 2002
A MAJOR demonstration and rally are planned in Newcastle upon Tyne in suppport of public services and against privatisation. GMB union general secretary John Edmonds and CWU union general secretary Billy Hayes are among the speakers.

Post revolt against new privatisation

05 October 2002
STRIKES ARE back in the Post Office. The anger against management last week burst through the union leaders' efforts to hold it back. A quarter of the Post Office's cash handling network was closed by unofficial walkouts at the beginning of last week as CWU union members reacted angrily to a management briefing.

Union leaders are dithering, but build a big vote for action

14 September 2002
POSTAL workers across Britain have begun a strike ballot at long last. It has been called by the CWU union in opposition to management plans to launch a joint venture with one of Britain's nastiest multinationals. Bosses want to transfer CWU union members in the Romec cleaning and maintenance section to a new company 49 percent owned by construction group Balfour Beatty. After weeks of delay the ballot began last week.

Transport from all over Britain

07 September 2002
CAMPAIGNERS in the Stop the War Coalition are uniting with local groups to get transport from across Britain to the 28 September demonstration. A 640-seat train is running through Glasgow and Edinburgh to the march. A further five coaches are booked from Edinburgh, and transport is organised from Greenock, Fife, Aberdeen and Dundee. In Runcorn, in the north west of England, and Bristol the postal workers' CWU union is running its own coaches to the demonstration. In Cardiff the CWU union has given £200 to help fund transport from the area. Around 100 coaches are booked from Birmingham. Around £10,000 has been raised to pay for billboard and newspaper adverts in the ru

National vote starts on strikes

24 August 2002
A NATIONAL strike ballot involving all 180,000 postal staff in Britain begins next Tuesday. It has been called by the CWU union in opposition to management plans to launch a joint venture with one of Britain's nastiest multinationals. Bosses want to transfer 4,000 CWU members in the Romec cleaning and maintenance section to a new company 49 percent owned by construction group Balfour Beatty.


13 July 2002
LEADERS OF the postal workers' CWU union have halted a national strike ballot. The vote was about the proposed joint venture between the Romec cleaning and engineering section and the private sector.


06 July 2002
CWU union leaders held back calls for a more combative response to attacks from Post Office management at the annual conference last week. But, because delegates were furious about management's assaults, the union leaders had to make occasional signs of militancy. Deputy general secretary John Keggie ordered the expulsion of the Royal Mail observers from the hall in response to news that some delegates were facing disciplinary charges for attending the conference.

In brief

01 June 2002
Alarming signals for bosses at BT WORKERS IN one section of BT have beaten off an attempt to hand them over to another firm. The dispute involved some 120 members of the CWU union in BT's RedCare section, which monitors BT alarms installed in business premises.

Stamp on this lousy deal

11 May 2002
LEADERS OF the CWU postal workers' union have called off a strike planned for this week. They claim they have achieved a "major victory" over pay. In fact they have surrendered to Royal Mail bosses' and threaten to weaken workers' ability to fight in the future. It is important that activists throw themselves into defeating the proposed deal in the forthcoming ballot.

Post workers

13 April 2002
A NATIONAL lobby of parliament by around 1,000 post workers was scheduled to take place this week. It came as heated arguments split the union's leadership over the response to the Post Office's announcement of mass job losses. The CWU union's top leaders support a deal to accept up to 30,000 job cuts as long as they are "voluntary".

Urgent-strikes needed

27 March 2002
Why have Post Office managers felt confident enough to move towards 40,000 job losses and the destruction of Parcelforce? One big reason has to be the behaviour of the CWU leaders last week. They met to discuss the possibility of holding a one-day strike over pay on Wednesday this week.

In the front line against Labour

23 March 2002
Postal Workers could hold a national strike on Wednesday of next week. It would be about pay. Postal workers are fed up with poverty pay-a basic of just £250 a week. Many work six days a week and start at around 5.30am. The executive of the CWU postal workers' union believed it had secured agreement over pay with Royal Mail. CWU deputy general secretary John Keggie said the deal would mean £300 a week pensionable pay by October 2003.

Postal workers must slay monster of privatisation

16 March 2002
POSTAL WORKERS in the CWU union will take to the streets in London on Saturday to say no to privatisation. Postcomm, the postal regulator appointed by government, has proposed that private firms should be allowed to grab almost half the mail in Britain from April.

Post Office

16 March 2002
LEADERS OF the CWU postal workers' union were set this week to recommend that workers accept a new pay offer in a postal ballot. The deal is a disgrace which will open the way to new assaults on jobs and conditions.

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