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From: The Socialist issue 1107, 28 October 2020: Donít let Tories starve our kids

Search site for keywords: CWU - Royal Mail - Union - Workers - Trade union

Royal Mail: No more behind closed doors talks - CWU must take fight to the bosses

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson

Postal worker, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Gary Clark, CWU Scotland no.2 branch secretary (personal capacity)

The Communication Workers' Union (CWU) are in vital talks with senior Royal Mail management which could decide the future of the 500-year-old institution of Royal Mail and what type of company it will be post-Covid.

The strength of the CWU forced Royal Mail CEO Rico Back out, which was seen a victory for the CWU, but as we pointed out, we still had a dispute with management on our hands, and a live industrial action ballot.

The CWU leadership made a mistake by allowing the ballot to run out, and an extension should have been demanded before entering negotiations with Royal Mail.

The ballot has now run its time limit; negotiations are ongoing, and have been held in a format of strict confidence, which has caused frustration among our membership. All negotiations should be held in full view of the members. The membership has seen no difference in management since Rico Back was removed. It remains the same and every day is a battle in the workplace.

Leaks

There have been leaks around what Royal Mail is offering in the current talks, and how they want the future of Royal Mail doesn't look good. Royal Mail views the future of the CWU as only representing the membership on personnel issues.

Royal Mail want to be able to do anything they want as a business. In negotiations with the CWU, it is looking for a reduction of CWU reps and officials by 25%, a clear attack on how we represent the membership and how a trade union operates.

The union must now reach out to the members and prepare them for another ballot. No more behind closed doors talks, everything should be up front and open to the membership, as Royal Mail clearly, even after Rico Back was removed, still wants to smash the union.

We must now get back onto a war footing and prepare again for a battle with management. We demand renationalisation of Royal Mail to take it out of the hands of the likes of Rico Back and run it under democratic workers' control.

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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.

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Article dated 28 October 2020

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