Postal workers call a national strike ballot!


25,000 postal workers are to go on 24-hour strikes this Friday in London, and in many parts of the country on Friday, Saturday and Monday, while from Tuesday, August 11 Stoke-on-Trent CWU will be taking continuous strike action.

There is to be a national briefing for all CWU branch officials on Thursday, August 13 at Friends Meeting House, London from 11am to 2.30pm, and there is to be a national ballot for national strike action in September.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, commented: ‘Postal workers are sick and tired of an incompetent management running their business into the ground. Workers are busier than ever and being treated badly. The current round of cuts in jobs and services is unacceptable.’

In fact, there is a massive anger amongst postal workers at the slackness of their own leadership in coming forward with a national ballot for strike action.

At the CWU national conference in Bournemouth, from June 7-11, the CWU leadership got a number of resolutions for national strike action withdrawn, by moving an emergency resolution pledging that if the Royal Mail did not agree with the CWU to have a three-month moratorium on all modernisation measures and union strike actions, so that a proper discussion could take place, the CWU would organise a national ballot for national strike action.

July 2nd came and went with Royal Mail refusing a moratorium, but no national strike ballot was organised.

In fact, as Mandelson and Crozier became angrier an angrier – especially when they were forced to shelve their part-privatisation measure – the CWU leadership became more desperate to avoid a national strike ballot.

The three-month moratorium offer was replaced by a two-week slimmed down version, but still the Royal Mail and Mandelson refused to talk. They also made it very clear that they intended to take on the CWU and defeat it, so that they could impose all of their measures.

Desperate to avoid the consequences of their own conference resolution for a national ballot, the CWU leaders then gave the go-ahead for hundreds of local ballots, reducing the struggle to hundreds of local actions against the Royal Mail, with all of the consequent penalties and threats of wage cuts, victimisations and legal action.

This situation served to make the membership even angrier.

They declared that Mandelson and Crozier had declared war and that it was necessary to organise national action to defeat them, otherwise the entire industry would be casualised.

Workers and reps were even considering marching on their own union leaders!

It is the rising anger of the CWU membership that has produced the national briefing and a national ballot.

CWU members are now demanding a speedy ballot and an indefinite national strike to defeat the government and Crozier.

They are in no mood to be mucked about and consider that any attempt by judges to rule their action to defend their jobs, wages, and pensions illegal should be ignored.

CWU members want their leaders to take up the offer of other public sector union leaders such as Prentis of Unison and Serwotka of the PCS to form a public sector alliance to take on and defeat the government, on the basis that an injury to one is an injury to all.

The whole of the public sector must come out with the postal workers, and steps must be taken to organise that now, since this is the road to victory.

Brown, Mandelson and Crozier have declared war on the CWU and now the power of the trade unions must be used to defeat them and prepare the way for a workers government and socialism.