by Mike Southerden
ROYAL Mail's latest drive to slash jobs is continuing apace, but is meeting with rank and file resistance in some areas. Management (with the collusion of union officials) are deploying every method of bullying and bribery to try and get staff to agree to “efficiency savings” by the end of May.
Delivery workers at Mount Pleasant were told by CWU officials to expect about 50 job cuts (mostly on nights). If they were agreed, the remaining staff would be receiving 40% of the savings. If they voted “no”, the cuts would be implemented anyway and they would get nothing. Some workers denounced the choice as blackmail, but in the end the majority succumbed to the “blood money”.
However, there are still some offices holding out. Mark O'Reilly, a postal worker at Finsbury Park delivery office, describes how resistance from the shop floor has already forced management to reduce their target savings from 160 hours a week to 75 hours. “Two people on light duties have been offered medical retirement, but 75 hours on top of that would be totally unacceptable. We would have to lose a night, and I for one would not stand
“There is a massive sick absence problem in this office, and cuts would make it worse. Overtime can’t be covered and the use of casuals is increasing. We were hit particularly badly by the cuts last time around, and we can’t afford any more. We have to tell management that enough is enough, we won’t allow any more job cuts.”