THE Communication Workers Union (CWU) sent out a letter to its branches yesterday, declaring that Royal Mail was prepared to impose ‘change’ on the workforce and that ‘the period of calm’ is over.
The letter states: ‘Dear Colleague – Royal Mail Dispute.
‘Talks between the Union and Royal Mail concluded without an agreement being reached on Sunday evening.
‘Royal Mail informed the Union that the period of calm is over and they will now prepare to run the business and move change forward.
‘The Union informed Royal Mail that we were prepared to continue with the talks and extend the period of calm.’
The letter came from the CWU’s deputy general secretary for postal workers, Dave Ward.
Rob Bolton, chairman of the HP Section, CWU South Central No.1 Branch, said yesterday: ‘The CWU leadership have been made to look foolish.
‘They have called off our strike in the hope that they would be able to achieve a negotiated settlement with Royal Mail.
‘All this time, Royal Mail had no intention of calling off their business plan and sacking 40,000 staff through redundancies.
‘Royal Mail had no intention of backing down and there was no room for the CWU leaders to negotiate.
‘This is what makes the secret talks so treacherous.
‘While our membership were left in limbo, wondering what was going on, Royal Mail have had a month to prepare themselves for the next strikes by the use of scab labour.
‘For the CWU, valuable time has been lost.
‘The CWU leadership must reinstate the strikes, they must call on all public sector unions to back them and they must call a national demonstration, calling on all trade unions in the public sector and private sector to support them.
‘If they are not prepared to lead this fight, they must resign and make way for people who are prepared to fight to the finish.
‘Royal Mail have made it perfectly clear that they’re going to fight to the finish. We must have a leadership that will also do so.’
Vince Micaleff, Bow E3 Delivery Office CWU rep., told News Line: ‘I’d like to see us now go back to taking strike action – upping the ante even more.
‘It is the only option we have got.
‘We have to rally the troops again and get our message across.’
Mole Meade, South-East London CWU postal and counters branch, told News Line: ‘I think that over the period of the next few days the union will review its position with the Labour Party and make its decisions on industrial action.
‘It sounds like sabre rattling by Royal Mail.’
Billy Colville at Peckham delivery office told News Line: ‘With the government behind it, Royal Mail is determined to impose mass sackings and wage cuts on us.
The only answer is for our executive to call indefinite strike action and to move an emergency motion at the TUC Congress that the whole public sector, all threatened with wage cuts and sackings come out in our support.