Post: how the SWP backs job cuts

Submitted by Anon on 17 July, 2004 - 7:28

By a postal worker

In common with their latest "turn" in other unions, leading SWP officials of the Communication Workers Union have been at the vanguard of promoting job-cutting deals with management.
It started with SWP Postal Executive member Jane Loftus supporting the "Major Change" agreement. She justified voting for the deal (which allows local managers to set targets for cutting jobs and increasing workload) as being "for the sake of unity" with the majority of the Exec.
The coverage of the deal in Socialist Worker at the time appeared to be contradictory, with one of their rank and file members arguing against it.
But the position of the SWP's officials has shifted from reluctant endorsement to active proponents of "Major Change". When SWP member, Mark Dolan was elected as Area Deliveries rep in North London a couple of years ago he promised to "stand up for delivery members and stop Management forcing our members to take out unacceptable workloads... We should fight for no job losses, no four hour deliveries, maintaining two deliveries."
Today, Dolan is at the forefront of touting the "Major Change" agreement around the sub offices of North London, with its "headcount reduction", 3.5 hour delivery span and "Single Daily Delivery". Offices that were reluctant to help managers' plans are being encouraged to "get involved".
Not so long ago, SWPers insisted on standing for nothing other than lay positions in unions, for fear of being sucked into the bureaucratic machinery. Now they act as cheerleaders for the "left" bureaucrats and participate in rotten partnership deals!
The arguments used to justify Single Daily Delivery are feeble - "there's no will to fight". But recent unofficial strikes suggest otherwise; "there are benefits" - yes, a "self financed" five day week and an extra £20-£26 a week; "the original savings targets were higher" - well it won't be long before management comes back for more cuts.
The whole point is to get us to accept the principle of trading jobs for money, and union partnership in the process.
Single Daily Delivery has now been implemented in most delivery offices, with a greater or lesser extent of union collusion. Resistance to it is inevitable, given the extra pressures people will be under. The danger is that it will remain localised, allowing management to fight off individual offices or pacify them by restoring a few of the duties they have axed. Those remaining activists who have not succumbed to the cult of Dave Ward need to organise that resistance into a real fight back to reclaim lost ground and start going on the offensive, especially over the 35-hour week.

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