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Marxism :: General strike
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The Communication Workers Union (CWU) conference on 21 and 22 April was held against the backdrop of the constant threat of wholesale postal privatisation and unprecedented attacks, union busting and sackings of CWU members across Royal Mail, BT and the communications industry.
It ended with a rousing debate which resulted in an overwhelming vote for the CWU to continue to support the call for a 24-hour general strike and for the national executive to do all in its power to prepare CWU members for the action.
In the CWU's two industrial conferences, the mood for action continued. At the letters conference postal workers voted unanimously for a full ballot of Royal Mail workers on a boycott of private mail companies' final-mile mail.
The ballot will run from 22 May to 18 June, with the result being announced on 19 June.
There was a triumphant mood among delegates afterwards with a determined attitude to 'up the ante' against privatisation.
In the telecoms and financial services conference, the main debate focused on 'performance management' within BT.
Socialist Party members and other lefts demanded an immediate programme of action but the executive wanted to 'give BT one last chance'.
They submitted an emergency motion that was eventually carried by a small majority after a card vote.
Socialist Party members Judy Griffiths and Clive Walder gave rip-roaring speeches in the debate, tearing into BT and their bullying tactics.
They demanded that the union leadership stop giving last chances and start an immediate programme of industrial action.
The struggle for a fighting left leadership within the CWU still remains. But it is also clear that there is a new emerging layer of younger members who hold no illusions in Labour and what this system can provide for working people.
Communist Manifesto (26)
General strike (325)
Soviet Union (35)
Transitional Programme (28)
Working class (861)
Article dated 8 May 2013
The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party
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