Reinstate The Strikes!


THERE is no deal so reinstate the strikes, frustrated Communication Workers Union (CWU) branch officials said yesterday.

This came as yet another day of talks brokered by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber continued at the TUC, after the CWU postal executive again refused to support the deal agreed a week ago between CWU leaders Billy Hayes and Dave Ward and Royal Mail bosses.

CWU Eastern Region No 6 branch secretary Paul Olden said members were fed up with being kept in the dark.

He told News Line: ‘We’re getting no information at all.

‘We’ve registered our disgust through the regional and divisional secretaries, and they haven’t been given any details.

‘We believe that if there is an agreement, it should be put before the membership.

‘But if they are no nearer a deal than they were last week, the strikes should be on again.

‘That’s the way I and all the reps look at it.’

Asked about the feeling toward the CWU leadership, Olden added: ‘At our conference in six months time there will definitely be motions of censorship and there could be no confidence motions’.

CWU North East divisional rep Gary Hodkinson said: ‘My personal view is there can’t be a reasonable deal and so the executive have got to restore national strike action.

‘We still haven’t seen any details and it’s been a week since a deal was agreed between Royal Mail and Billy Hayes and Dave Ward.

‘We’re not very happy at all about that.’

Oxford CWU political officer Paul Garraway told News Line: ‘We’re waiting to hear from the discussions.

‘There should be a result today, if not we should go back on national strike, either that or put a deal to the membership.

‘We haven’t heard any details and we’re fed up with that.’

All Trades Unions Alliance national secretary Dave Wiltshire said: ‘The postal workers dispute has today entered almost farcical realms if the situation was not so serious for every single Royal Mail worker.

‘Union leaders Billy Hayes and Dave Ward promised an agreement last Monday but it is quite clear that no agreement is possible.

‘The fact that they have dragged the CWU Postal Executive along to the TUC to hear first-hand reports of the negotiations indicates the depth of the crisis facing the leadership.

‘Hayes and Ward have been completely unable to reach any agreements that they can ‘sell’ to the executive or that the executive thought they could ‘sell’ to the membership.

‘At the same time far from being demoralised by this constant to and froing and the calling off of industrial action and the threat of court injunctions, the membership’s determination is hardening.

‘Unofficial action up and down the country in defiance of the union leadership demonstrates that postal workers are eager for a struggle against Royal Mail.

‘In these circumstances to continue with the charade of talks with the employer who will not give one inch on the question of flexibility and on the destruction of the union itself is downright treachery.

‘This charade must be ended at once all talks with Royal Mail broken off and national industrial action called immediately.

‘A public sector alliance today is not just a slogan but a burning necessity, a general strike by public sector workers is the only way the struggle can be taken forward against the employers and a government determined to smash up the trade unions and privatise the entire public services.’