Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Support the postal workers

It is clear that the dispute in Royal Mail is a crucial one for all of us.

We have had some important successes in a number of disputes including Visteon, Linamar, Lindsey/construction and Tower Hamlets College. These have started to raise the confidence of workers to resist efforts to make us pay for the consequences of a recession triggered by the greed and irresponsibility of the rich and powerful.

What's happening at Royal Mail is qualitatively different. It's not just that the scale is so much bigger. The media onslaught against the CWU is full of class hatred, almost reminiscent of the 1980s. Whereas in a number of other disputes management seem to have been caught on the hop, in this case there has been a massive level of preparation by the employer and a systematic management organised scabbing operation on a scale not seen for years.

None of this means the CWU can't win. The postal workers are a powerful group, and well organised. But the movement can ill afford to repeat the mistakes of the 1980s by allowing employers to pick us off one at a time to demoralise the rest. Imagine trying to argue for action in your workplace if the CWU had been smashed and the Tories elected. Or imagine the boost in confidence your workmates could have if we all helped the posties beat off these attacks from their overpaid bosses.

The CWU have produced a collection sheet. Every trade unionist should be taking it round their friends and workmates and visiting picket lines to show solidarity. We should be helping to set up solidarity groups should be springing up in every town and city. Building solidarity won't just help the posties win - it will make us all stronger.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be a strange world where the full time Chair of a certain Unite National Committee (which recently made a shameful climbdown in the fight to retain the company final salary pension scheme) refused to send a supporting message to the CWU as he didn't "agree" with the action, just as he refused to participate in any support during the national Fire strike.
You are right it is a strange old world when this happens.

Anonymous said...

The postal workers should stop whinging and do some work for a change. The antiquated practices and working conditions that they are fighting to keep are the very thing that is killing them off. It's not as if the service is good now so sort yourselves out or become defunct. Taking days off every couple of weeks just makes the public more annoyed at your incompetence.

Ian said...

Doesn't it say it all that the last comment is just anonymous abuse, rather than reasoned argument.

I'd guess that the author may not have lugged a heavy bag for miles every day.

To blame the posties for the poor service is absolutely ludicrous. It wasn't the posties to created the bogus "competition" that forces Royal Mail to deliver mail at a loss for their competitors. It wasn't the posties who decided to scrap second deliveries and make the first deliveries so late. It wasn't the posties who took pension holidays.

The CWU is not trying to keep "antiquated practices" - it is trying to negotiate to ensure that its members and the service they provide have a future, despite the desperate attempts by Royal Mail management and the government to smash the union and wreck the service in preparation for privatisation.

The postal workers deserve our support.

Ian Seddon said...

Spot on Ian - I'm dubious about anonymous posts on boards, if something needs to be said then names should be attached(with exceptions where whistle blowing etc is involved).
It is amazing how people attack other workers based on falsehoods and malicious snipes as the Anon. poster has used against the postal workers.
Their fight is our fight as trade unionists. Is the days off he or her (I suspect its a he) referring to their weekends or rostered days -don't you believe in them Mr Anon.?
I guesss you aren't a trade unionist writing that kind of rubbish - so why are you here? Or maybe you are one of those "trade unionists" we have around Unite and other unions who don't believe in trade unionism and solidarity, maybe your trade unionism is confined only to the company you represent and aiding them rather than the members, and what goes on in there - maybe you are in a full time lay position, maybe not.
We won't find out though will we as you choose to hide behind the brave flag of Anonymous.