Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Support The Postal Workers!

The national post strike is now scheduled for next Friday. Whatever our criticisms of the 'New Labourite' elements of the CWU leadership, now is the time to get behind this group of workers taking on the neo-liberal project. The liberalisation is being driven in part by EU directives, themselves constructed as part of the corporatist project for a European Capitalist 'paradise' fashioned by the lobby groups and think tanks of the corporations. The slight delay at EU level in imposing further postal service "liberalisation" announced earlier this month and the quarreling by the political leaders over the last two days do not significantly alter this trajectory, which must be fought by working people and the left at every opportunity. I am happy to reprint below the Communication Workers Union statement which they are urging members and supporters to distribute as widely as possible to counter misleading propaganda from Royal Mail and the government.

Defending Postal Services
A Message To The Public From The Communication Workers Union

Britain’s postal workers – members of the Communication Workers Union – are asking you to support our campaign to stop Royal Mail’s cost-cutting business plan which will mean cuts in your postal service (with hikes in stamp prices, fewer collections and deliveries and more post office closures) and cuts to our members’ pay and pensions.

CWU members want to do our job serving the public. We have tried every measure possible to seek a fair resolution to this dispute. Over 70% of our members voted for strike action to force Royal Mail to think again but they are simply refusing our offer of meaningful talks.

Starved of investment for decades Royal Mail now faces unfair competition from private operators who, for a discounted price , collect and sort profitable bulk business mail before passing it on to the Royal Mail to deliver the “final mile”. The result is Royal Mail has lost millions in revenue while the profits of private competitors has soared.

In 2006 Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union agreed that we would work together to tackle the impact of competition in the mail market, use government investment to introduce automation, improve efficiency, introduce innovative products that we know customers want and raise the value and status of postal workers’ jobs. Instead, Royal Mail has ditched the agreement, refused to negotiate a pay settlement and insisted on unilateral imposition of its cost-cutting business plan with mass job losses and cuts to members’ pay and pensions. Royal Mail has been deliberately misleading the public by saying the CWU wants a 27% pay rise. The CWU has never asked for a 27% pay rise.

That’s why the CWU are asking for your support in our campaign to stop Royal Mail’s cuts, end unfair competition and preserve a vital public service.

A combination of Royal Mail’s ‘slash and burn’ strategy and rigged competition rules now threaten the future of Britain’s universal postal service. As competitors queue up to cream off the most lucrative work, Royal Mail is facing a financial black hole and proposing a swingeing round of cuts both to postal services and to our members’ terms and conditions. That’s why the CWU is asking you to support our calls for:

· Royal Mail to enter meaningful talks with the CWU on resolving pay and major change and to honour the 2006 agreement which committed both parties to agree a joint approach on pay and modernisation.
· A Government review of the damaging impact of competition on the Royal Mail to date, in line with Labour’s manifesto commitment.
· An immediate change to Postcomm’s competition rules and a fairer pricing and access regime that gives the Royal Mail the revenues it needs to support the universal postal services and post office network.


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