CWU members working in Royal Mail are facing the greatest threats to their jobs and conditions in the entire history of the postal service.
With the speeding up of the Mail Centre and Regional Distribution Centre closure programme and the threat to the Saturday delivery, thousands of jobs are at stake.
While Royal Mail bosses Leighton and Crozier award themselves millions of pounds in bonuses, our members’ jobs are being sacrificed on the altar of liberalisation.
The review of the effects of the opening up of the Royal Mail’s markets is being used by Leighton, Crozier and the Regulator as an excuse to allow in private equity capital to fund Royal Mail.
To see what happens when private equity invests in a business you only have to see what happened to the AA when they were taken over.
Thousands of jobs were lost and it has been left with a mountain of debt. Any private investor is going to want his pound of flesh. The only way that they can get it is by cutting jobs and casualising the industry.
It is time we began to look facts squarely in the face. Leighton and Crozier were put into position in Royal Mail to do exactly what they are now doing by the Blair/Brown government.
It is the same with the Regulator. His remit is to open up Royal Mail’s operations to private contractors. No amount of pleading or putting pressure on the government to mitigate the effects of their own policies is going to work.We are seriously deluding ourselves if we think it will.
The policies that we have adopted up until now have failed miserably. Our industry has lost 50,000 jobs, services have deteriorated and our members’ pensions are about to be devalued.
If we are serious about defending jobs and conditions in the Post Office, we need to radically change the policies that are clearly not working.
We need to begin by realising that the only way to defend what we have left is taking on and defeating this government.
Our industry is not the only one under attack by the policies of this government. The NHS is suffering creeping privatisation as wards and whole hospitals are shut down in the name of modernisation.
Civil servants are facing the loss of 100,000 jobs and the contracting out of their traditional work.
All workers in the Public Sector are being forced to accept below inflation wage ‘increases’ while prices of basic necessities sky-rocket.
These workers are our natural allies.
Our Union must call to all unions in the public sector to form a Public Sector Workers Alliance to take strike action against the government.
The policies of The Public Sector Workers Alliance should include:
• an end to all privatisation.
• the defence of all jobs.
• for Trade Union rates of pay and a sliding scale of pay, on a trade union cost of living index, so that workers are not pauperised by inflation.
Our Union must stop funding the Labour Party at once.
We should support Labour MPs prepared to fight for the restoration of the postal monopoly and an end to Mail Centre and Post Office closures.
The Trade Unions should purge the Labour party of the Blair/Brown gang and all those who support them, and send them packing into the Tory Party.
These changes in the policies of our Union are the only ones that match the enormity of the situation that faces us.
If we are not to see the complete casualisation of our industry and the demise of the CWU with it, we have to be bold.
History knows not a few lessons, where a Trade Union did not face up to the tasks that were set before it, and so went into decline.
That is why our union is at the crossroads.
Delegates to the CWU conference should send in Emergency Motions calling for the above policies to be adopted.
The hour is late. We have to act now to change the leadership and the direction of the CWU.
From Rob Bolton
Chairman HP Section
South Central no. 1