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 dispute was also called off.
The union and Royal Mail bosses are now committed to resolving the dispute by 13 November, and to concluding an agreement which includes “an improved pay and reward offer”.
Royal Mail have also agreed to extend the validity of the ballot to 20 November. That gives a week’s window between the planned conclusion of a deal and the latest date at which postal workers could take action.
Rank-and-file activists and militant branches should begin organising now for strikes to demand concrete concessions, not merely “an improved pay and reward offer”, and pressure the CWU to use its links with Labour to commit Labour leaders to renationalisation.