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20/05/2020 Mount Pleasant Bulletin

22 May 2020, 11:23

Hi all, find below the Mount Pleasant bulletin of the 20th of May (attached the full pdf with editorial). Comments are welcome, as usual.

TRY AGAIN
Is that what we're worth? A one-off £200 tip for
“delivering vital Government items relating to Covid-19...”?
And still no masks nor adequate PPE for ALL deliveries?
After tax it amounts to barely £20 per week for the lockdown's
duration, so far - and it's only "pro rata for parttime
work, absences and unpaid leave"! That's how little
it is. Or did RM mean £200 per week? It's been 8 so
far...

BETTER BE GOOD
By the way, aren't we due for a pay rise and a cut in
hours? And what about the restoration of a final salary
pension scheme? That might be a reasonable offer, if
they want to "recognise" our "key role"... Yes, if
management can't find better ways to show their
appreciation(!), we can give them plenty of ideas, no
problem.

AS FAR AS WE CAN THROW THEM
So RM managers and CWU officials have decided it's
definitely a good idea for us to collect and process the
individual Covid-19 home test kits? In one of their videos,
RM management claims it's “very proud" of this... of
course, since it’s not them, but us doing it! Our position
remains just the same (and thanks for asking!?): this is a
job for a specialist service. But we have to wonder: what
lucrative deal did RM make with the government, at our
expense?
PS: And BTW, that video showing a trial/pilot in Truro
also features a plastic bag (used to take hold of the test
kit) which is too small for “no-touch” technique - he
touches the specimen when closing it! And no one in the
video is wearing face masks, which should be mandatory.
But of course, we know how serious RM is about our
safety...

AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED
We've already said it and we're going to say it again. If
anyone at home who's taking the test and sending it back
to the lab, isn't careful, the virus will do what it does best,
lie about all over the place, waiting to pass itself on... in
priority postboxes, normal postboxes, postal bags, etc.
We're not happy with this. So yes, we should be very
careful handling them and if we're not sure it's 100% safe,
we should just not do it!

RECIPE FOR FAILED TESTS
In packet processing we've enough on our hands, so
who's supposed to “fast track” these test kits? We're told
they must reach the laboratory within 48hrs... and don't
we know only too well how managers ensure the smooth
running (ouch!) of this show..?! Another reason for these
tests to have their own collection and delivery service,
done with all due speed, by trained staff!

BUT WHAT ABOUT US?
We don't get this. Managers tell us that as “key workers”
we can apply for a Covid-19 test... but only if we have
symptoms. But surely, if we've symptoms, with or without
a test, we'd stay home in self-isolation anyway? RM
doesn't even follow the example of what's being done in
other big workplaces, where the temperature of everyone
is taken on arrival at work, personal bottles of hand
sanitiser are handed out daily, masks and gloves are
mandatory and social distancing strictly implemented with
screens, etc., in place...

PLAN? WHAT PLAN?
Businesses which are now re-opening need a “Covid
secure" plan, but RM has never had one. Are managers
going to come up with one now? Or are we going to go
back to being packed in here like sardines again? And
how are we going to protect ourselves and our
workmates, going forward? What about those still
needing to shield or isolate? These questions need
answers.

SEEING BACK’S BACK
So Rico Back is gone, sort of… he’ll still be paid his full
salary (totalling nearly £500,000) until 15 August! In fact,
he’s expected to get a total “golden goodbye” of £1m!
Well, out with one boss, in with another… We know his
going won’t change anything. In fact maybe the RM
Board thinks that without him they'll get their planned
changes past the CWU officials all the more easily...

WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN
We’ve already met the new (interim) boss, actually.
Back’s departure means that Keith Williams is back again
as CEO, in his spare time, among other things, like
reviewing the rail franchise system... He's also got form:
he helped screw BA cabin crews' conditions in 2011. As
The Who's song goes, “Meet the new boss... just like the
old boss.”

ROSE-TINTED GOGGLES
That doesn’t seem to be how the CWU leaders see
things, tho'! They're quite happy to be fooled again. In a
Facebook video on 15 May, Dave Ward said he wants to
“give opportunity for the people coming into the business
to make a positive change” - "the people" meaning the
new bosses... Will he ever learn?

NOW THEY'RE READY TO NEGOTIATE
Yes and for good measure, TP added, “we didn’t ballot to
go on strike, we balloted for the right to negotiate the
future of this industry”. Says it all really. What about the
coming job cuts, the pay rise we need, the cut in working
hours, preventing the abuse of temp labour - over which
we need to fight, to get anywhere?

...READY CASH?
Another thing that won’t fool us, is the “big problem” RM
says it has with the business. They “warn” us that
revenues for April are down by £22m (like all other
businesses!), to justify, once again, the plan to cut our
conditions to shreds. But they also just boasted to their
shareholders that their “liquidity position remains strong”,
as they have £1.8bn in ready cash! We heard that!
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