Royal Mail no strike deal: vote No!

Published on: Wed, 15/01/2014 - 12:26

Communication Workers Union (CWU) members in Royal Mail will be balloted from 21 January to 4 February on the “Agenda for Growth” agreement.

The deal proposes a 9.1% pay increase over three years, and includes commitments by Royal Mail to protect workers’ terms and conditions for at least five years. But those commitments are undermined by an enormous loophole in the terms of the deal that allows Royal Mail to renege if bosses deem any of the protections “reasonably likely to have a materially adverse effect on the employer’s business or prospects”.

Workers who have not had a pay rise for

Mail deal restricts strikes

Published on: Wed, 11/12/2013 - 11:38

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is recommending a deal to its members in Royal Mail that secures a 9% pay increase over three years and legal protection against outsourcing, casualisation, and zero-hours contracts, but also radically restricts the union’s ability to strike.

The deal creates new structures of governance and mediation that the CWU will be legally committed to exhaust before its members can strike at a local level. The agreement also makes clear that any national strike would negate the legal protections offered: “The Employer shall be entitled to notify the CWU at any time

Postal strikes off

Published on: Wed, 06/11/2013 - 13:51

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) called off a national strike of postal workers, planned for 4 November.

Although the immediate issues balloted over were day-to-day industrial issues including pay and pensions, the CWU explicity placed the ballot in the wider context of its political fight against Royal Mail privatisation. A strike before the 15 October sell-off could have thrown a spanner in the works of privatisation. By delaying calling action, and then calling it off entirely, the CWU allowed the privatisation to go through unresisted.

A strike due in the separate Crown Post Office

Postal workers set to strike on 4 November

Published on: Fri, 25/10/2013 - 20:02

Postal workers will strike on 4 November in the Communication Workers Union’s first national strike since 2009.

The immediate industrial fight is over workplace issues including pensions, but the wider context is the fight against the privatisation of Royal Mail.

Postal workers should seek maximum coordination and joint support with other striking unions, including joint demonstrations, rallies, and mutual picket line support.

Probation workers in the NAPO union also recently voted by an 84.4% majority for strikes, and could join the autumn strike wave.

Unions should coordinate strike flurry

Published on: Wed, 16/10/2013 - 12:14

Teachers struck on 17 October in a well-supported action

On Wednesday 16 October, the Royal Mail workers’ ballot for strikes over pay and conditions, in the context of postal service privatisation, will be returned. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) strongly expects that it will return a yes vote; any strike would be the first national postal workers’ strike since 2009. The CWU are expected to begin with an all-out national strike, followed by rolling action in the run up to Christmas.

On Saturday 19 October, firefighters in England and Wales were due to strike again, following a strike on

Royal Mail: Keep it public! Fight on the principle!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2013 - 08:35

Big investors, and a fair few middle-class people who can afford £750 to bid for shares, stand to make large windfall gains as Royal Mail shares are allocated and start trading, from 15 October.

The government has deliberately set the share price low to get a successful sell-off, and the moneyed classes are confident that new private bosses will be able to get good profits by beating down postal workers’ pay and conditions.

On 16 October the postal workers’ union CWU will announce the result of a ballot on strikes to win guarantees on terms and conditions. However, the union’s campaign so far

Cloudy Sunday

Published on: Mon, 07/10/2013 - 17:59

Cloudy Sunday is the first novella by Mike Kyriazopoulos.

Mike will be well-known to many members and sympathisers of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty, in which he was active until 2007 when he moved to New Zealand and joined the Workers' Party/Fightback, as well as to reps in the Communication Workers' and Public and Commercial Services Unions in which he was also active as a postal worker and civil servant. He began writing Cloudy Sunday earlier this year after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease.

For a short book of seventy pages, Cloudy Sunday packs a lot of historical and other

Industrial news in brief

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2013 - 12:50

The 20,000 members of Unite working in Higher Education have joined Unison and the University of College Union in balloting for strikes to win better pay.

Unite says its members in HE, who work as technicians, laboratory assistants, facilities management workers, and admin staff, have faced a five-year “pay drought”, and have seen their real pay decline by around 13% since 2008.

A Unite statement said: “The employers have shown a callous disregard when it comes to fair pay treatment for their staff — and now strike action is very much on the cards.”

Train cleaners strike against poverty


Resisting mail sell-off

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2013 - 10:58

The Government has speeded up the sell-off of Royal Mail so that the shares will be sold and trading on the market before the strikes for which the Communication Workers' Union is now balloting can start.

The share offer went out on 27 September, the same day that the CWU ballot started. Applications to buy shares must be in by 8 October. The allocation of shares to buyers will be announced, and some limited trading will start, on 11 October, and then full trading on 15 October.

The CWU ballot closes on 16 October, and the first legal date for strikes will be 23 October.

Dave Chapple, Bristol

Post workers set to strike

Published on: Wed, 25/09/2013 - 10:59

The government has promised that the privatisation of Royal Mail will take place “within weeks”.

Shares in the privatised company will be offered to Royal Mail workers for a minimum spend of £500 (which can top up a free share bundle every worker will receive, with the total shares going to staff amounting to 10% of the business).

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which organises Royal Mail staff, began balloting its members for strikes on 20 September, with the results due on 3 October. The ballot focuses on a number of ongoing industrial issues, including pay and pensions. In an attempt

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