Cwu-Royal Mail Partnership Challenged

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CWU representatives yesterday concluded a two day briefing in Bournemouth on the Business Transformation 2010 agreement reached between the CWU executive and Royal Mail.

On the first day (Wednesday) the briefing was split into the different functions which comprise the Post Office e.g. Royal Mail Letters, Distribution, Mail Centres and Regional Distribution Centres and Ancillary Services.

The different sections were given a detailed presentation as to how the new agreement affects them.

What became immediately clear is that Royal Mail are going to press ahead with their Mail Centre closure programme. Over 30 mail centres are under threat and with it thousands of jobs.

Under the new agreement the CWU leadership have abandoned any opposition to the closure programme and see their job as trying to make it as painless as possible, by negotiating a no compulsory redundancy clause and better compulsory transfer terms.

On deliveries Postal Workers are to be loaded up like pack horses, delivering unaddressed advertising material, as the cap on no more than three items of that material per week is lifted, also there will be no upper limit on the delivery span.

The argument is that this will defend full time jobs.

On the second day of the briefing the reps were addressed by Billy Hayes and Dave Ward the General and deputy General secretaries.

Hayes told the representatives that they had ‘negotiated a good deal, we have delivered on modernisation for the government, now its up to them to deliver on the pension deficit.’

He added that in line with motion E6 passed at last years AGM there would be no national donation to the Labour Party as they had not fullfilled their side of the bargain.

Dave Ward said he ‘recognised that there were unpalatable parts of the deal, but could those opposing it offer any alternative – no’ he said.

A number of representatives opposed the deal on the grounds that it was not good for Postal Workers, as it turned the CWU into a cheerleader for Royal Mail’s slash and burn, modernisation plans.

The deal will now go to a ballot of all CWU members. The result will be announced around mid-April.