Stop Royal Mail privatisation – No to mass sackings!

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THE CWU leaders Dave Ward and Billy Hayes yesterday warned that the Brown government and the Royal Mail top management are planning to sack 16,000 workers, as part of their drive to part-privatise the industry. They want to hand over the sections that are making £900,000 a day profit to big business, leaving the public sector with the debts.

These debts will only be redeemable through speed-up, part-time working and mass sackings.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: ‘Royal Mail is pushing for an arbitrary ten per cent cost saving for offices across the country’.

Billy Hayes said – speaking at a meeting of trade union leaders and leaders of their Labour government – that Royal Mail privatisation plans are a defining moment in union-Labour relations.

He added: ‘The relationship will be severely strained towards breaking point.’

His statement concluded: ‘The CWU has an agreed policy to ballot members on disaffiliation should privatisation of Royal Mail take place.’

The CWU was also able to produce the presentation notes for a Royal Mail slideshow to its managers, with an ‘In Strictest Confidence’ warning attached.

Called ‘Operations Service Integrity and Support Strategic Engagement. The journey to get us there’, ‘Project Tiger’ was unveiled.

Clause 11 stresses:

• Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Operations Support functions to the end-to-end process of delivery, fulfilment and ensuring products are fit for purpose.

• £20 million challenge in 2008-09, more cost pressure from the regulator in future years.

• We have a requirement to cut a minimum of 10 per cent from our cost base, including people costs.

• Use the knowledge and resources in the business to develop better ways of working.

• Build on the new organisation structure to evolve to a more streamlined and effective operating model which focuses activity and accountability towards the Operational Area Customer.’

Ten per cent of ‘people costs’ equals 16,000 sackings.

Faced with this mass murder of the nationalised industry all that the union leadership are talking about is disaffiliating from the Labour Party!

What is required is the organisation of indefinite strike action to stop the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail, and the mass sackings and crushing flexibility that the management, the government and the privateers have got planned for Royal Mail workers.

There must be national strike action, and the CWU leaders must invite the entire public sector, motor car workers and the power workers to join them in the struggle in a general strike to defend the jobs, the wages and the right to work of the working class.

This is the only way to defeat the Labour government, the Royal Mail and the greedy bosses and bankers who, having caused the current economic crisis, want to get their hands on the Royal Mail profits.

The problem for CWU members is that their current leaders have continually retreated in front of the onslaught of the Royal Mail, the government and the privateers.

• After a series of massive one day strikes in 2007, the Hayes-Ward leadership called off the action and a national demonstration to go into secret talks which ended in them accepting the back-breaking management flexibility programme and a below-inflation wage offer.

They then ran away from the struggle to defend the final salary pension. They declared that they agreed that it ought to be replaced and then accepted the massive cut in pensions that the Royal Mail brought in.

They continued to declare that they had a binding promise from the Labour government that Royal Mail would not be privatised.

The Labour government has now shown its contempt for them by ripping this binding promise up!

Now is the time for the CWU membership to get new leaders capable of winning the battle for survival that is now about to break out.

Such a leadership must be prepared to bring down the Brown government to bring in a workers government that will carry out socialist policies.