Socialist Worker: Wrong to suspend the strikes…
ACTION, NOT TALKS IS THE WAY TO WIN
There’s a new offer from Royal Mail—which has led to the suspension of strikes. Management made that offer because postal workers have fought.
A few weeks ago Crozier and Mandelson were confident that the union would fall apart and that the strikes would collapse.
Instead the vast majority of postal workers have struck absolutely solidly. They have defied the threats and the bullying, ignored the media onslaught and given two fingers to the lies from management.
Postal workers’ defiant action forced new talks. The threat of escalating strikes to two days a week, combined with the decision by some areas to target the scab centres frightened management and Labour.
But the level of action has not yet been enough to win.
That’s why it’s a serious mistake to stop the strikes. Postal workers are going in without having a deal to look at. It’s giving management and the government the breathing space they have been hoping for.
Royal Mail are under pressure because the strikes have built up a backlog, and because the traffic increases all the way until Christmas. And the general public backed the workers, not the management.
Now Crozier & Co will hope to string out the negotiations, get into January with all the backlog cleared, and then go on the offensive again in 2010.
It won’t be a period of calm—it will be a period of preparation for war by management.
Let’s not forget that they will soon unveil ANOTHER round of cuts linked to the new year and Phase 4.
The full details of the deal were not available as this leaflet was written, but it’s clear that parts of it could be very similar to the 2007 deal:
There is no agreement to withdraw the executive action. Parts of it are up for renegotiation, but do you trust management?
What happens if Royal Mail insist on the measures going through? Are offices supposed to fight on their own?
The whole point of this year was a struggle to get from local agitation to national agreements. Now the flow is the other way round.
What’s been gained so far does not match the courage and sacrifice of postal workers across Britain. Instead of stopping strikes, the CWU should step them up and demand support from the rest of the working class.
The postal workers have already inspired others.
Look at the other groups that are fighting now: BA workers held a 3,000 strong mass meeting to launch a ballot for strikes at Christmas; bus workers are striking across Britain against a pay freeze, bin workers in Leeds are in their ninth week of all-out strike—and it’s spreading to Brighton and other areas; firefighters from South Yorkshire to Essex are striking over “modernisation”.
This is a mighty army if it strikes together!
- Demand your reps at the CWU national briefing call for the strikes to be put back on.
- No cooperation with management.
- Lift all disciplinaries/sackings now.