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14 October 2020

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Stop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Royal Mail worker

As we are entering a second wave of Covid-19, senior Royal Mail managers have taken a reckless decision to reintroduce shared vans, on a so-called voluntary basis. But the Royal Mail view of voluntary would not be our view of it.

There are reports from around the country of managers pressuring members to share vans, and this at a time when there's been a huge increase in Covid cases within units. One member has tragically lost his life from a cardiac arrest linked to Covid. Mac, who worked at the Nottingham mail centre, leaves a wife and four children.

Gary Clark, CWU branch secretary, says:

"Around 18 postal workers have died from Covid in total. Luckily, I have had none in my own branch but I am seeing a large increase in confirmed Covid cases, including Bathgate which has ten, and another 15 are self-isolating. That's over 25% of that office who either have it or are self-isolating.

"This is a completely reckless act by management, which we believe is due to them cost-cutting to make profits, and preparing for the increase in post as we head towards Christmas.

"Royal Mail should hire a large fleet of vans, but instead it has put our members' health and safety at risk, and their families and other workers too.

"We have launched a campaign around this, encouraging our members to refuse to share vans and follow our guidance around health and safety. If a unit is unsafe they should seek support from the CWU. "

This has been happening at a time when we are in national negotiations with Royal Mail around a number of outstanding issues linked to the strike ballot we had, and this action will clearly have an impact on these talks.

We must clearly put our members' safety before Royal Mail's chase for profit and, if required, ballot for industrial action.

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Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

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In The Socialist 14 October 2020:


Coronavirus news

Locked down, hard up, fight back!

As school cases soar - is contact tracing 'near breaking point'?

Even more delay in stopping school transmission?

National Education Union must launch action now

Nottingham Covid surge caused by Tory mismanagement

Under the microscope


Students

Students not to blame for unsafe uni conditions

"It's not fair" - lockdown students demand free education

Students speak out: isolation and uncertainty reign

Building a movement to fight for free education


What we think

Unite votes to cut affiliation fee to Labour


Workplace news

Usdaw elections: the battle for a fighting union

NEU Special Conference: A fight for safety in schools is urgently needed

Napo AGM 2020: Celebrating probation victory and preparing for challenges ahead

University workers ballot for action against in-person teaching

Stop Royal Mail's profit-driven plans to force postal workers to share vans

Unison: The Socialist is backing Hugo Pierre - for a fighting socialist general secretary!


Co-ops

Are cooperatives the answer to a failing capitalist system?


Campaigns

Stop NHS meltdown

Transport for London funding crunch

Oliver Campbell - Still fighting for justice

Fighting Fund - we're off to a good start


Obituary

Obituary: Raph Parkinson 1958-2020


International news

Greek workers and socialists celebrate convictions of Golden Dawn fascists

Nigeria: Mass protests force government to disband killer cop unit


Readers' opinion

Non-fiction: This Land - the story of a movement

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Royal Mail:

triangleA day in the life of an agency worker

triangleRoyal mail management forced to make concessions

triangleRoyal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks

trianglePosties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

trianglePostal workers' action results in double victory for union

Workers:

triangleUnited action needed to defeat fire and rehire

triangleReaders' opinion

triangleNorwich City Council workers vote for strike action over broken promises on pay and conditions

triangleThurrock refuse workers strike escalates

Profit:

triangleNo trust in billionaire owners - kick them out and reclaim the game

trianglePimlico Academy protests: "Run by racists for profit"

triangleLondon bus drivers continue walkout

Postal workers:

trianglePostal workers force Royal Mail back

trianglePostal workers' anger over profits before health and safety

Covid:

triangleDefend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks

CWU:

triangle39 'postmasters' cleared - now clear the rest

Health and safety:

triangleDevonport tugboat crews strike against rota changes

Article dated 14 October 2020

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