CWU

Unions should coordinate strike flurry

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!

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

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

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

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

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...

Postal workers prepare for national ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced that it will ballot members working for Royal Mail and Parcelforce for strikes from 20 September unless Royal Mail agrees a “legally-binding” deal that guarantees to protect workers’ pay, pensions, and conditions in the event of the privatisation of the service. The ballot would be due back on 3 October, with strikes expected by 10 October if it returns a yes vote. It would be the first national ballot of CWU’s 125,000 Royal Mail members since 2009. CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “We are dealing with a company that is preparing...

Bridgwater posties "defiant and definitely undefeated" as strike ends

After nine days of strike action postal workers at the Royal Mail Delivery Office in Friarn Street, Bridgwater have voted to end their summer-long dispute about oppressive managers and working conditions. This follows a mass meeting of workers last night where a proposed agreement was endorsed by a 3:1 majority. Bristol CWU Branch Secretary David Wilshire said: “Following lengthy and difficult negotiations an agreement has been accepted that places the union back at the centre of all decisions that are made in Royal Mail Bridgwater. Crucially it states that future changes will not be made...

Bridgwater posties stay strong

Bridgwater postal workers show no signs of flagging in their fight against bullying bosses. They concluded their ninth strike day on Monday 19 August, and will seek the green light from their union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), to launch a week-long strike from 2 September. The strike has become a beacon for postal workers nationally, as burgeoning local disputes provided momentum for a national fight against the government's planned sell-off of Royal Mail. Management culture in the postal service has become intolerable for many workers, and is described by union reps as based on...

Bridgwater strikes show the way for national dispute

110 Royal Mail workers at Bridgwater Delivery Office in Somerset are currently in dispute with their local management over issues including management bullying and breaking agreements. The official dispute has already involved several strikes lasting five days. A national conference of CWU postal workers reps also voted to call a national ballot for strikes against the privatisation of Royal Mail, no later than September 2013.

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