‘The talks are a trap to get over Christmas,’ warned Hampstead Delivery Office Communication Workers Union (CWU) deputy unit rep John Taylor yesterday.
He was responding to yesterday’s talks between Royal Mail and CWU negotiators taking place at a secret location.
Commenting to News Line on Royal Mail’s ‘offer’ to go to ACAS, provided strikes are called off, Taylor added: ‘The only pre-condition for calling off the strike should be that every job that has been taken out through executive action is put back.
‘We have to go on strike on Thursday and Friday, whether there are talks or not to show we are solid across the country.
‘We need to escalate the strikes
‘The talks are a trap to get over Christmas and then hit us when we’ve no bargaining power.
‘They are out to break the union.
‘There should be solid support for all our picket lines from all other unions this week.’
Commenting on the call from private logistics giant TNT for regulations to be lifted so it can compete with Royal Mail, Taylor said: ‘TNT do not have the facilities to provide the service that Royal Mail does.
‘They don’t have the network. TNT and the other private companies don’t want to do the final mail delivery.
‘They are bumping up all these things to try to scare us into not striking.
‘We had a letter this morning from Mark Higson, managing director of Royal Mail Letters asking us not to strike and saying that all these other people are queuing up to take our jobs.’
Rob Bolton, Chairman, South Central No 1 CWU branch added: ‘CWU members must demand that the strikes scheduled for 22nd and 23rd of October go ahead.
‘We have a huge mandate for industrial action and our members are determined that their jobs, pay and terms and conditions are not going to be negotiated away.
‘We must stand firm in the face of the intimidation by Royal Mail and the Mandelson/Brown government.
‘No union can stand by and watch what is happening to the CWU without it sending a shiver down their spine.
‘What Royal Mail are proposing to do, is to organise scabbing on a massive scale.
‘This is an attack on the rights of every trade union and every worker.
‘Our leaders Hayes and Ward must not buckle under the pressure of this attack.
‘We have an absolute right to demand that the TUC comes to the assistance of the CWU.
‘There can be no sitting on the fence on this issue.
‘We must organise to defend our union and our jobs, by calling for the setting up of a Public Sector Workers Alliance.
‘All workers jobs and conditions are under attack. The TUC cannot stand idly by, while one of its founder members is under a Mandelson inspired onslaught.
‘The announcement by TNT that they are going to ask the Postcom to be allowed to deliver mail, is another attempt to try to frighten our members into giving up.
‘It will not work. There is no way that they could handle the amount of mail that is delivered by Royal Mail employees.’
The CWU said in a statement it ‘welcomes growing parliamentary support for a negotiated settlement to the postal dispute.
‘98 MPs from seven different political parties – including Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat – have signed Early Day Motion 2035 which calls on the government to do all in its power to ensure that Royal Mail responds positively to the union’s proposal of third party mediation in the current postal dispute.’
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: ‘We think it is absolutely right that politicians put pressure on the government and Royal Mail to find a quick and reasonable settlement to this dispute.
‘Despite recent revelations which call into question Royal Mail’s intentions, the CWU remains available for talks.
‘We would welcome a move to ACAS, but Royal Mail has so far not committed to this without pre-conditions.
‘Any third party involvement needs to be on an entirely transparent basis with a joint intention of reaching an agreement.’
The EDM tabled by Geraldine Smith, Michael Connarty, Jim Dobbin, David Crausby, John McDonnell and Colin Burgon was put down on 13th October 2009.