ROYAL Mail, backed by Brown and Mandelson, are making no secret of the fact that they intend to stamp on the CWU, in order to casualise, de-unionise and privatise the Royal Mail, and to intimidate all workers.
The latest measure to bring in 30,000 strikebreakers speaks for itself, as does the concentrated media effort to present the CWU response to the offensive of the Royal Mail-Labour government as a decision to commit suicide.
The maxim of the Crozier-Mandelson effort is that, since the proposed rape is inevitable, the postal workers must lie back and make the best of it.
The immediate aim of the Crozier-Brown attack is to seek to intimidate the CWU leaders into abandoning this Thursday and Friday’s strike actions. This would be the slippery slope to the total abandonment of the national strike ballot decision.
That this is a planned battle is clear. Crozier and Brown believe that they have covered every angle, as the leaked ‘Strategic Overview’ document makes clear.
It even proposes, in the event of the commencement of strike action, organising a December truce, with the action recommencing in January.
It states under Tactics-dispute: ‘If union call off/suspend strikes: – Scope for focussing on negotiations – aim to reach agreement or non-agreement by December (timing to ensure no resumption of industrial action until January) – introduce next year’s major change announcements – further mail centre reviews – in context of talks.’
Yesterday, the CWU leader Hayes said that he would be going to Acas on Monday morning and challenged Crozier to be there to meet him at the state arbitration body.
If this were to happen, the strike actions on Thursday and Friday would no doubt be cancelled.
It remains for Crozier and Mandelson to work out whether they have any need to accept Hayes’ offer, or whether their estimate is that the CWU leaders are so weak that they have no need to negotiate at all.
The only angle that they have not covered in their ‘Strategic Overview’ is that of the CWU taking the offensive and taking the battle to them with indefinite strike action, and a mobilisation of the public sector, to set the scene for settling the issue in favour of the union.
They clearly estimate that the current Hayes-Ward leadership is incapable of taking such offensive action.
However, the CWU must take the offensive against Royal Mail and the government. To do this it needs a new leadership.
CWU members must demand that the strike actions go ahead, and that the executive sets the date for indefinite strike action, and brings forward a leadership prepared to lead the struggle.
Branches of the CWU must call on all local workers and residents to join their picket lines on Thursday and Friday to stop the strike breakers.
Local branches of the CWU must take the lead in establishing councils of action to mobilise all the trade unions and workers in their area to support their strike actions.
The CWU executive must immediately take steps to form a public sector alliance, to take strike action alongside the CWU, on the basis that they will be next, if Crozier and Brown manage to defeat the CWU.
The CWU must call a national demonstration and a march on the House of Commons and invite all trade unionists in the public and private sectors to take part alongside their supporters.
Such a massive demonstration will create the conditions for the organisation of a general strike to defend the CWU and all workers’ rights.
Once mobilised, the working class is much stronger than the government. It must not draw back from bringing the Brown government down and bringing in a workers’ government to carry out socialist policies, to put an end to crisis-ridden capitalism.