CWU

AWL Postalworker bulletins

Bulletins Workers' Liberty supporters have made the following postalworker bulletins, for Royal Mail workers: November-December 2019: Fight to abolish all anti-union laws! February 2020: We need national strikes See other articles on CWU, Communication Workers' Union, and on anti-union laws, and the struggle against them.

BT workers gear up to ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been holding online meetings for members around the country, as it prepares to launch an industrial action ballot in BT Group. The union’s “Count Me In” campaign has seen well-attended meetings take place throughout recent weeks, with union reps and officers discussing how to resist BT bosses’ plans for job cuts and attacks on terms and conditions. In late March, BT announced plans to give its workers a non-consolidated “pandemic bonus” of £1,000 in cash, and £500 worth of shares, a move which the CWU denounced as a bribe, calling attention to the fact...

CWU democracy on hold

Having failed in a previous attempt to move to a biennial conference, the NEC [National Executive] of the post and telecoms union CWU has used the Covid crisis as an excuse to cancel this year’s conference, which would normally take place around the end of April. This means branches will not have an opportunity to shape union policy again until 2022, three years on from the last conference. However, the NEC has announced a one day rules revision conference next month to deal with what it describes as proportionality issues. This is likely to be yet another attempt to dilute democracy in a...

Union plans all-BT ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced plans to ballot its members working for BT, including Openreach and EE. The union said a ballot would take place “barring a dramatic eleventh-hour about-turn by a belligerent new senior management team which has now spent more than a year pursuing a brutal and needlessly confrontational agenda.” BT Group plan a restructure which the CWU says will involve site closures, job cuts, and attacks on terms and conditions, including pension arrangements. In December 2020, CWU members in BT voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action in a...

Openreach engineers strike again

BT Openreach engineers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) struck again on 3-5 March, with further strikes planned on 18-20 and 22-25 March. And on 11 March, the CWU announced it would move to a wider formal industrial-action ballot in "every part of BT, Openreach and EE where the CWU is recognised for collective bargaining purposes". CWU members in that wider area have already voted overwhelmingly for action in an indicative ballot. The Openreach strikes, which involve a workforce of 170 Repayments Project Engineers (RPEs), working to move or protect BT cabling during construction works...

Rank-and-file links key

Thanks to Dave Chapple for his article (in Solidarity 583), which is an important contribution to the history of trade unionism in the UK Post Office. As a CWU [Communication Workers’ Union] activist of 25 years standing I would like to add some additional comments. I joined Royal Mail in the 1980s. Like Dave, I found that my older colleagues sometimes talked about 1971. Indeed, the key branch officials had all taken part in the strike. As I became more active in the union, one interesting theory I heard was that Tom Jackson was actually playing a game of internal politics within the UPW...

Openreach workers strike

Engineers working for BT Openreach struck on 24-25 February, in a dispute over proposed changes to their terms and conditions. Further strikes are planned on 3-5 March. The workers, who perform specialist work moving and preserving BT cabling during major building works, are resisting the imposition of new contracts which would lead to pay cuts. Bosses claim the difference in pay would be topped up by bonuses, but workers say this would represent a “performance-related-pay” scheme where pay is tied to productivity rather than a guaranteed salary. The strikes, the first by any BT workers since...

The great Post Office strike of 1971

UPW Bristol Branch strike march, February 1971: leading the march were striking day telephonists with Branch Officers Reg Dixon, Harry Varcoe and Monty Banks. Pic: DC This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Great Post Office Strike of 1971. This article surveys the background to the strike, how it was organised, and discusses the reasons for its defeat. Its author, Dave Chapple, is not a member of Workers' Liberty, but the article is published here with his permission, and with thanks. The Union of Post Office Workers, UPW, is the predecessor of today's Communication Workers Union (CWU)...

Towards telecoms strike in BT?

In December, BT Group workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action to defend job security and conditions, in a consultative ballot. A BT Group worker and CWU activist explains the background to the dispute and other struggles in BT. The national consultative ballot against job cuts and compulsory redundancies across BT is the logical result of the failure of industrial leadership by the CWU Telecoms Executive for over a decade, and also of the disastrous outcome of the 2019 general election for communication workers. The current faction in...

CWU's 98% yes vote in consultative ballot

Communications Workers' Union (CWU) members in BT, Openreach, and EE have voted 97.9% yes to industrial action with a turnout of over 74%, in a consultative ballot closing 10 December. The union has said: "CWU members have fired a very clear warning shot across BT’s bows that, unless bosses change direction on their vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures and attacks on pay, terms and conditions, the company is on a direct collision course with its workforce". CWU has also announced (22 December) that its Postal Executive has ratified a two-year pay and conditions agreement...

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