Cwu Crisis Conference!

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THE Royal Mail’s pay, pension and bonuses award worth £3million for Chief Executive Adam Crozier was a major slap in the face for all of the CWU’s postal worker members, while it showed a big contempt for the CWU’s leaders, who are allowing the ongoing complete destruction of the Post Office and the Royal Mail.

Billy Hayes’, the general secretary of the CWU, comments about this ‘award’ illustrated the degree of contempt involved in the Crozier pay-out.

He said: ‘Royal Mail has just claimed that it is in financial crisis, that employees are overpaid and is trying to reduce the pension benefits of its staff. At the same time as this, Executive pay is completely out of control. This is an outrageous use of public money at a time when post offices and other Royal Mail offices are closing and postal services are being cut back. . . This is a massive insult to Royal Mail employees and the public.’

In fact, the Labour government and the Royal Mail management – having tested out the lack of fighting capacity of the CWU leadership – are convinced that there will be no response from them to this outrageous pay and pensions jackpot for Crozier, and that it is now full speed ahead to privatisation.

They have seen the way that the CWU leaders wound up the hugely supported strike actions against the company’s pay and flexibility package.

They have also seen how the CWU leadership reacted to the plan to get rid of the postal workers’ final salary pensions scheme declaring that it also considered that the final salary scheme should be replaced!

This kind of spineless leadership has encouraged Royal Mail and the government to think that they can get away with anything.

Royal Mail bosses Leighton and Crozier are now calling on the government to give them the go ahead to issue shares and bring private equity capital into Royal Mail. They made the call in their submission to the government’s Hooper review of the universal postal service.

Their submission says that privatisation will provide the ‘crucial risk capital’ needed to speed up its implementation of market disciplines and fund high salaries to new ‘management talent’.

‘Risk’ capital expects, in return for risk, real super profits. These will be achieved by the complete casualisation of the industry!

There is no doubt that Crozier and Leighton will get the support of the Brown government for privatisation after the Hooper review report is published in October, when a government pledge to keep Royal Mail in public ownership will be ripped up.

At the same time, Royal Mail is now proceeding to close down Mail Centres employing thousands of postal workers, without even bothering to see through the ‘consultation process’ that it has just agreed to.

Typically the response of the CWU leadership has not been to organise strike action by the whole union to stop Mail Centre closures and stop the threat of privatisation.

Instead, it has put down an emergency resolution for the June 8 CWU Annual Conference that requires ‘a firm commitment from the Business that: No further Mail Centre closures will be announced until the full details of their future Mail Centre strategy has been provided at National Level by no later than the end of June 2008.’

Also that ‘They will adhere to our current Agreement regarding proposals for Mail Centre structural changes.’

This is not even a demand that attempts to close all Mail Centres are halted at once.

And as the accompanying note makes clear there is no timetable for action. The note says: ‘The Postal Executive have of course recognised that the arrangements for the timetable of the Ballot will also need to take into account the other important National issues that are currently facing us at this point in time.’ The ballot will be months away, if ever!

The present CWU leadership have taken the industry to the brink of being completely broken up by the Labour government and Royal Mail.

This leadership must be removed and new leaders must come forward at the CWU conference that will insist on indefinite national strike action alongside other public sector unions such as the the PCS to fight and defeat the Brown government’s job-busting and privatisation plans.