CWU

No confidence in Blair

Text for use in drafting motions to CWU conference. This Conference has no confidence in Tony Blair as leader of the Labour Party. Therefore we resolve to maintain the current level of affiliation to the Labour Party but: 1. To use all remaining moneys from the political levy to promote CWU policy and support CWU political campaigning, including joint campaigning with other unions as in point 6 below. 2. To give financial and practical support only to Labour candidates who are loyal to the labour movement and to trade-union and working-class principles. 3. To instruct the PFMC to review...

Vote Yes to all-out Post Office strike!

The Communication Workers Union is to ballot all its 180,000 members in Royal Mail, Parcelforce and the Post Office for industrial action. Seven thousand members in RoMEC, the branch of the postal service that is responsible for cleaning and buildings maintenance, face transfer into a joint venture with discredited PFI giant Balfour Beatty. All CWU postal members wherever they work have an interest in stopping the RoMEC joint venture and it is important that there is a decisive vote for action in the ballot due in the last week of August. A yes vote will mean the first national strike of the...

CWU Conference

Not "how many redundancies?" but "what sort of service?" By a postal worker In the face of threats of massive redundancies in the Post Office, our union's response has been sadly lacking in vision and has squandered opportunities. Instead of raising the call to "fight for a decent job for all postal workers" we heard once again "avoid compulsory redundancies". Many now see redundancies as inevitable, so the task becomes damage limitation. But this is only because of the lack of any serious campaign by Head Office to mobilise members and the public to save jobs and defend the service...

Keep the post public - but under workers' and users' control

From the latest issue of the AWL bulletin, Postalworker Defend the second delivery! Some would have you believe that this is an "outdated slogan". But defending the second delivery is a key part of our campaign to save our industry from bloodsuckers such as Allan Leighton, and the Government sponsored private courier firms. Tailored Delivery Services (TDS) is the new name for Royal Mail's plans for first deliveries arriving at 1pm. And "tailored" they certainly are - to the interests of big business and against the rest of the public. For postal workers, TDS will mean job cuts (local offices...

Pay up, Consignia!

From the latest issue of the AWL bulletin, Postalworker. After two months of "intensive negotiation", Royal Mail have upped their offer to 2.1%. New Consignia chairman Allan Leighton (who earns £19,000 a month on top of extra pocket money earned from his various other business interests) resumed his attack on postal workers when he told the media "No-one should have a penny pay rise. I am not afraid to say it. There should be a pay freeze. If I had been chairman more than three months ago we would not have even made a pay offer". We should neither laugh or cry at this insult from someone who...

Support the rail, post, and benefits strikes!

With rail strikes crippling train services in the south-east and set to spread, a strike brewing in Consignia (the new name for the postal service) and national strikes by benefits workers, people have been talking about a new "winter of discontent". The name "winter of discontent" refers to strikes in 1978/9 against the last Labour government (1974-79). Elected after an incredible wave of working class militancy brought down Ted Heath's Tories, the Wilson-Callaghan government failed to deliver for workers. The "Thatcherite" policies of massive cuts in the welfare state didn't start with...

Postal Worker Bulletin May 99

When Royal Mail sent out a letter to staff back in January to explain the difference beteween wilful delay of the mail and unexcused delay, it looked like trouble was coming. Sure enough, the new conduct code is already being used to intimidate postal workers and union representatives, as management apply it to their own ends, often in an arbitrary and discriminatory way. This is against the background of the company's bigger project, starting with the Delivery Agreement last year (which opened the door to earlier start times), and continuing with the latest Performance Bonus Scheme (stepping...

CWU Conference: Left wins the argument but loses the vote

At this year’s conference of the Communications Workers’ Union the newly elected General Secretary, Derek Hodgson, did the Blairite Labour Government a big favour. He successfully derailed the campaign for workers’ rights that has been built up within the union since its formation in 1995. The CWU was one of the first unions to discuss, in conference, the Government’s proposed legislation on union rights — contained in the White Paper, Fairness at Work. CWU policy has been in favour of the repeal of the anti-trade union laws and for positive legislation on trade union rights. Union activists...

"Resign!" is the most popular call

Tuesday. I’m just about to set off for work when the phone rings. It’s someone from Royal Mail — they want me to turn up at the delivery office at 5.00 tomorrow morning to “have a chat and a look around”. Being as yet unaware of Royal Mailspeak, I presume I have an interview. Wednesday. Arrive at the delivery office. Everything looks hectic. Managers in flash shirts and ties hold important-looking mobile phone conversations. Radio One blares out across the floor whilst endless trolleys of mail are transported into the office. Eventually I find the line manager I am looking for — short, stocky...

Diary of a postal worker: Picket Lines

Saturday 19 July It’s 4am when I drag myself from bed and set off for the picket line at my sorting office. We are striking against management’s use of the discipline procedure to intimidate our branch secretary into toeing their line in negotiations. He refused to be intimidated and, in a flagrant abuse of procedure, was sacked. The dispute is a test of strength for the union. Initially our strike demands included the cases of other individuals unfairly sacked and changes to the ‘attendance procedure’ under which they were sacked. After the first day’s strike management conceded all these...

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