Category Archives: Post

France: Day of action for work and pensions

Workers from education, transport, post, media, the communication, energy, legal and the banking sector, are on strike today to tell the French government “we don’t pay for your crisis”. Demonstrations are organised in several towns against raising the legal age of retirement, as you can see on the map below.

post strike in France

Following the ratification of the law to privatise the post by the Senate in France yesterday, five unions (CGT, CFDT, FO, Sud et CFTC) call for a strike of all post workers on the 24th of November. If the French government continues its attempts to pass the law, the unions will also organise nationwide demonstrations in the week of the 13th of December.

Post Fight Betrayed

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.

Backlog lost
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.

Fight together
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.

Teesside post worker speaks about the strikes

Postal workers have made it clear that they are looking for solutions to avoid continuing national postal strikes and that they are ready to go to mediation.  Members of the communication workers union have voted by three to one to take industrial action in a bid to resolve long-standing problems.

The main components of the dispute are Royal Mails so called plans to modernise the industry, failure to address excessive workloads and reluctance to hold an independent enquiry in to the unprecedented levels of bullying, harassment and intimidation.

Early this year Royal Mail submitted evidence to a parliamentary report which highlighted that in the last seven years over fifty thousand jobs have been lost which equates to 22 percent of the workforce, while mail volumes have only reduced just over seven percent. The result of the massive jobs losses compared with only a small reduction in mail volume has caused the collapse of quality of service with mail backlogs in many parts of the country.

Local union officials are bewildered by Royal Mails refusal to accept mediation and believe that it is because the business fears that their irresponsible managing of the business will be exposed.  We believe that while managers have received crude levels of bonus payments it has been at the expense of the service, and manageable workloads of postal workers. Royal Mail then added insult to injury by ordering a pay freeze.

This has now developed into a dispute of morals, on one side you have ordinary, hard working men and women fighting to protect the future of a much loved and trusted publicly owned service that is the envy of the rest of the world and on the other the greed of capitalism and a management team hell bent on supervising the systematic destruction of a national institution

threatened post privatisation in france

The french government attempts to privatise the post service. 2,5 million people rejected this plan in an informal public referendum in October. Nevertheless Sarkozy’s government wants to pass the law to privatise the post in November. More than 60 organisations have organised a national committee to stop the privatisation. The national committee is leafleting outside  post offices and organising a demonstrations for October 31st and November 2nd. The campaign to keep the post private also includes sending 4 million postcards to the French president to remind him of the rejection of the privatisation in the referendum.

support the posties

After this weekend the post workers will be on strike on the 6th and 9th of November (all staff). Visit the picket lines and show your support!

5 reasons to back the post strike

by leading trade unionist Chris Webb from Socialist Worker:

1.) Defending public services
Royal Mail bosses are determined to run down the postal service, making it slower, more expensive and less reliable.

They hope that if it gets bad enough the public will support another effort to privatise the company.

Many post workers have been in the job all their adult lives. We are committed to delivering a service based on need. The bosses and the government are in this for the short-term, and are only interested in profits.

2.)  Fighting to keep full time jobs
Royal Mail is slashing thousands of full-time jobs. More than 50,000 posts have been cut since 2002 and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, they want to replace almost all full-time jobs with workers on part-time or temporary contracts.

But part-time work means part-time pay, part-time pensions, part-time sick pay – and part-time rights.

3.) A battle for decent pay
Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier is Britain’s highest paid public servant. Since arriving at the company in 2003 he’s pocketed £6 million in pay and bonuses.

Post workers, on the other hand, are among the poorest in Britain. We earn around £100 less a week than the average skilled worker and many of us can only survive on overtime.

Now Royal Mail is telling us we have to accept a pay freeze – and that at least part of our overtime should be compulsory and free.

4.) Stopping the union-busters
Our CWU union is the biggest barrier to those who want to cut jobs, services and pay in the post – and that’s why the company and the government are trying to drive us out of the industry.

To get their way they are bullying and intimidating our members, and using managers and non-unionised casual staff in an effort to break our regional strikes.

Bosses everywhere are watching what happens in this dispute. If Royal Mail can drive the union out of the postal service, others will try to do the same.

5.) If the postal workers win, every worker wins
Our battle is one of the first in what will be a wider war. All political parties are preparing massive cuts in public spending and if the Tories win the next election, they will be absolutely ruthless.

The post workers’ strike is about drawing a line in the sand and telling any future government that we will not accept the smashing of our services.

If we are beaten, bosses everywhere will say: if we can take on the CWU and win, we can break you too. We must not allow them to do that.