110,000 postal workers are balloting for a third time to strike in defence of an essential public service, writes TERRY PULLINGER
The miners’ strike defined the 1980s, the potential postal strike ahead could define the 2020s.
The “People’s Post” Royal Mail is the victim of the privatisation myth that taking a public service out of public ownership will improve services and protect jobs, when in fact the opposite is true.
Royal Mail should never have been split from the Post Office — all the most successful postal organisations around the world have kept their retail and delivery arms together. Royal Mail and the Post Office were only split for political reasons: to aid the privatisation of Royal Mail.
The current state of the Post Office is there for all to see — the lack of vision and investment, in the interest of outsourcing and franchising and the disgraceful “Horizon” scandal have tarnished an excellent public service. The strategy for the Post Office has cost decent jobs, a much-loved public service and has played a huge part in the demise of the high street and equal access to services for those in rural or outlining areas.
The true fallacy of privatisation is coming for Royal Mail. It handpicked the merchant of greed in Rico Back, a German multimillionaire who lives in Switzerland and handed him the keys to the great British postal service when it made him CEO.
The Royal Mail board gave him a roughly £6 million “golden hello” and an annual reward package of about £2.7m — 100 times more than the average annual wage of a postal worker. This created a major shareholder revolt when they voted against his reward package, but he still got it, democracy ignored.
His boost to the union was that he would grow the business, honour its heritage, work with the union and honour the agreements made, including the one made in 2018 just prior to him being made CEO, which mapped the joint mutual interest approach to the future.
The reality was the total opposite, an almost immediate plan began to expose itself which had all the characteristics of a classic corporate raid. Lower the share price, buy up millions of shares (which Back has), create a crisis to justify radical change, axe thousands of jobs, reduce the service, make a big profit and then cash-in your shares.
What is happening to the Royal Mail group is the same that has happened to most of our privatised public services, it is a national disgrace and the Communication Workers Union will fight to reverse it.
We are now having our third national ballot in three years for strike action. Our previous two resulted in over 70 per cent turnouts and 80 per cent Yes votes for industrial action to protect decent jobs and a much-cherished service. It was democracy in action — yet twice Royal Mail has used the courts to stop us. So we will go again.
We will deliver another massive Yes vote, we will expose this disgrace to the people of Britain who never wanted Royal Mail privatised in the first place.
This will be the defining dispute of the 2020s: 110,000 postal workers standing up for themselves and the people of Britain, against the millionaires, in defence of decent jobs and a 500-year-old vital public service.https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article ... ike-moment