THE unsolicited public display of pacifism yesterday by the CWU leadership, in the face of the most vicious daily attacks on their membership by Royal Mail management, has greatly angered the vast majority of CWU members.
The membership has just voted by 76 per cent in a 67 per cent turnout for strike action to defend their jobs, wages and pensions and to maintain the Royal Mail as a state-owned, union-organised industry.
Up to this date the membership have lost thousands of pounds in wages in local strike actions that have been forced on them by the aggressive, dictatorial attitude of the Royal Mail managers, with the Brown government standing behind them.
The membership are looking to their leadership to represent them, and lead them. They have now been let down badly.
Members want decisive action this Xmas to defeat the Royal Mail and the government, to save their jobs, their pensions, the industry and defend their wages.
The leadership has responded to the ballot and the growing militancy of the members by publicly suing for peace and publicly showing that they want to surrender.
They have not just offered a truce to the Royal Mail. They have offered negotiations that will allow the management and the government to get over the Xmas period when they are at their weakest, all the better to fight the struggle out in the New Year.
They have also made a very attractive offer to the Royal Mail and the government, as far as the Business Plan and the future of the industry is concerned.
Not only will they be secured over the Xmas period, the union leaders have pledged that they will give them a three year deal based on the Royal Mail Business Plan, complete with binding arbitration by a third party, to be utilised to decide which mail centres and delivery offices are to be closed, no doubt, and how many workers are to be sacked.
This approach will also lead to conceding that the Royal Mail will be privatised, since this is at the heart of the government plan for Royal Mail and their current plan to sell off state assets.
This is not the end of it. The union ‘would also be prepared to engage third party assistance to help bring about a fundamental long term improvement to industrial and employee relations.’
The government and the Royal Mail have always maintained that the ‘problem’ is not the CWU leaders but the CWU membership in the branches and in the areas.
Now, Ward and Hayes are offering to help bring ‘third party assistance’ – some retired judge perhaps – to adjudicate over industrial relations and the internal affairs of the union.
There is not the slightest doubt that the time to fight the Royal Mail and the government is now!
CWU leaders who are not prepared to carry out the strike ballot vote must be made to resign.
Not only are the membership of the CWU up for it, but their allies in the public and private sectors are up for it as well.
The Civil Servants, Firefighters, Prison Officers, Railworkers and Local Government workers must be approached to form a public sector alliance to support the postal workers with action.
A trade union alliance must be built up that is stronger than the government and ready to bring it down to go forward to a workers government that will carry out socialist policies and put an end to capitalism.
This is the only way to win the postal workers’ struggle and to stop the savage cuts and privatisations that both Labour and the Tories intend to unload on the workers.