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Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

16 May 2020, 20:32

In what tantamounts to a boardroom coup d'état Royal Mail have offloaded their very expensively procured boss Rico Back. Back was only CEO for two years. He has been put on gardening leave until August.

His final pay off will total over one million pounds. He will receive nine monthly payments totalling £480,000, and Royal Mail will provide up to £50,000 towards his legal fees and a maximum £25,000 towards outplacement support on top of unannounced remunerations.

He will keep his 5.8m "golden hello"payment received when he first took up the role of CEO. After his sacking Royal Mail's share price rose 7.5% to 174.57p.A string of disappointing trading updates sent shares crashing 66% over his time with the company. Significantly it lost its prized FTSE 100 status.

While the sacking has caught many by surprise, it would seem that he has been a high profile casualty of Royal Mail's inability to impose draconian new working practices demanded by their shareholders. He has also made history by being the first boss to be put on gardening leave while still in his 2.3m garden in Switzerland.

For the last two years Under Back's leadership, RMG has been seeking to undermine the Universal Service Obligation—guaranteeing six-days-a-week delivery—for years, as a step towards increasing the exploitation of the workforce.
One significant factor of Back's sacking was his inability to offset the catastrophic decline in decline in letter volumes.RMG has largely been subsidised by the growth of its parcels business. From the end of March to the beginning of May,308 million fewer addressed letters were sent, a decrease of 33 per cent. In the year through to April RMG has suffered a £22m fall in turnover.

RMG chairman Keith Williams thanked Back for his "significant contribution to the evolution of our business", but the reality is that Back simply did not impose the type of pay and conditions that would normally be associated with Amazon workers. Williams is no stranger to imposing swinging attacks on a workforce as he was a former boss at British Airways.

Back's sacking was met with near-universal joy by postal workers. However, it would be a fatal mistake to believe that RMG will halt its imposition of attacks on the pay and working conditions of postal workers. Williams immediately promised "an accelerated pace of change across the business".

The Communications Workers Union welcomed the sacking of Back and saw it as a chance to once again collaborate with RMG in order to impose William's programme of accelerated change. Previously the CWU despite pleading with RMG to let them help police the workforce during the pandemic RMG has told them in no uncertain terms to sling their hook.

The last few days, however, have seen a slight change in RMG's approach towards the Union. This slight thaw in relations was picked upon by Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK who said "The hope is that any new CEO will be able to work more collaboratively with the unions to make the changes that are needed to improve the competitiveness of a company, which lags behind most of its peers,"

In a joint statement, RMG and the CWU announced a one-off payment of £200 for workers who have worked throughout the pandemic. Many postal workers expressed their contempt at such a low figure on the CWU's Facebook page. This paltry amount is tantamount to a bribe or blood money. RMG, in collaboration with the CWU, have in the past, used the paying lump sums to postal workers in order for them to accept draconian new working practices.

The CWU's Facebook meeting called to discuss the Union's position after the sacking of Rico Back was a lesson in how to talk a lot without really saying much. However, Terry Pullinger in an unguarded moment managed to let slip that the change at the top would mean that the Union could now move on from the previous ballot for strike action as it is now "irrelevant". He then boasted that it was never to unions policy to call a strike in the first place.

This slip of the tongue in reality only confirms the analysis of the World Socialist Website(wsws.org). As the WSWS wrote at the beginning of this dispute, the CWU has aimed to stop a confrontation taking place. Its position has been to use their members' ballot as an influence to get the union bureaucracy a well-paid seat at the company's boardroom.

They see Back's sacking as a means to return to the intimate relations they had before Back's reign of terror. As a calling card, the Union has bragged that it has been the one to push through all the changes Royal Mail wanted in the past.

As the WSWS said “What matters now is how workers at Royal Mail go forward in fighting for their interests. The strike they voted for should be organised now. Its demands must be a permanent end to all attacks on jobs and conditions, the return of pay and pensions lost in previous union sellouts, and the immediate implementation of the safest working environment for those in work and financial security for those required to self-isolate. This struggle must be organised by rank-and-file committees of trusted workers, independent of the union bureaucracy.”
Last edited by merson01 on 17 May 2020, 07:52, edited 4 times in total.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

16 May 2020, 21:35

308 million less letters being sent out due to maybe all buisnesses being closed an majority of people being in lockdown??

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

16 May 2020, 22:13

aiden01 wrote:308 million less letters being sent out due to maybe all buisnesses being closed an majority of people being in lockdown??

Well said :Applause :Applause :Applause i can see another stitch up coming, this is the unions last shot with me either get good pay and conditions or i'm outta there,had a gut full of the CWU pussies.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

16 May 2020, 22:59

You'd think the writer of the article would be able to spell the subjects name correctly.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

16 May 2020, 23:35

Why, Bach/ Bachus nickname suits him, he looks like a drunk anyway :Very Happy

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

17 May 2020, 17:41

Deadly wrote:You'd think the writer of the article would be able to spell the subjects name correctly.

I have no Idea how to say who the subject is but who is Kenneth Williams Thought I knew the name but I not carry on about it.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

17 May 2020, 18:14

A big thank you to the grammar police. Back' s name has been corrected

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

17 May 2020, 20:28

Corrected or not, still has the drunk/Bachus face :crazy:

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 02:35

As the WSWS said
“What matters now is how workers at Royal Mail go forward in fighting for their interests. The strike they voted for should be organised now. Its demands must be a permanent end to all attacks on jobs and conditions, the return of pay and pensions lost in previous union sellouts, and the immediate implementation of the safest working environment for those in work and financial security for those required to self-isolate. This struggle must be organised by rank-and-file committees of trusted workers, independent of the union bureaucracy.”

Just a couple of questions on the last sentence of the above quote
1. Who are these “trusted workers”?
2. “Trusted” by whom?
3. How would the “trusted workers” be elected to these “rank and file committees “?
4. Who would these “rank and file committees” report to?
5. Would all the “trusted workers” have to be card carrying members of WSWS by any chance?
6. Would all the “rank and file committees” be instructed and coordinated by a national committee?
7. Would this national committee meet in the same garden shed that the WSWS meet in?
8. Why can’t teleportation be perfected to transport all members of WSWS back to Russia in 1917?

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 07:42

As the WSWS said “What matters now is how workers at Royal Mail go forward in fighting for their interests. The strike they voted for should be organized now. Its demands must be a permanent end to all attacks on jobs and conditions, the return of pay and pensions lost in previous union sellouts, and the immediate implementation of the safest working environment for those in work and financial security for those required to self-isolate. This struggle must be organized by rank-and-file committees of trusted workers, independent of the union bureaucracy.”


Just a couple of questions on the last sentence of the above quote

1. Who are these “trusted workers”?
2. “Trusted” by whom?
3. How would the “trusted workers” be elected to these “rank and file committees “?
4. Who would these “rank and file committees” report to?
5. Would all the “trusted workers” have to be card-carrying members of WSWS by any chance?
6. Would all the “rank and file committees” be instructed and coordinated by a national committee?
7. Would this national committee meet in the same garden shed that the WSWS meet in?
8. Why can’t teleportation be perfected to transport all members of WSWS back to Russia in 1917?

Despite the cynicism in some of your questions, they do contain points worthy an answer. I am not sure how long you have been in the job. If it is a long time, then you should know that every office has its leaders, whether young or usually old. They usually lead discussions on organizational matters such as working conditions or operational matters such as disputes over overtime. They are usually the ones that lead a strike over issues such as Coronavirus. Postal workers rarely walk out on mass without this rank and file leadership. They are trusted by workers. However, when they start to betray that trust, they are replaced by new workers who will give a lead. These new workers will form the rank and file committees and be independent of the CWU.

To answer your fourth question, they would be answerable to other postal workers and themselves. The committees will appear naturally and not necessarily be elected. Workers will know who their leaders are.

The World Socialist Website is a website, not a party. The party it represents is the Socialist Equality Party. There is a membership but no cards. This is the 21st century, not the 19th.

The committees will at the beginning contain many political opinions and will have to choose who acts in their interests and who defends them against the attacks of Royal Mail and the CWU

Point six is a good one. This matter would be decided by the committee itself. I would guess some form of national and possibly international gathering would have to take place and elect leaders. Postal workers in other countries should be involved.

Point seven. More than three million individual readers have accessed the World Socialist Web Site since the beginning of 2020. This is a pretty big shed. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/0 ... d-a27.html

Point 8, I will leave you with a quote from one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution Leon Trotsky. It is pertinent to the issue you raised. “Our author substitutes mechanistic determinism for the dialectic conditioning of the historical process. Hence the cheap jibes about the role of individuals, good and bad. History is a process of the class struggle. But classes do not bring their full weight to bear automatically and simultaneously. In the process of struggle, the classes create various organs which play an important and independent role and are subject to deformations. This also provides the basis for the role of personalities in history.

There are naturally great objective causes which created the autocratic rule of Hitler, but only dull-witted pedants of “determinism” could deny today the enormous historic role of Hitler. The arrival of Lenin in Petrograd on April 3, 1917, turned the Bolshevik party in time and enabled the party to lead the revolution to victory. Our sages might say that had Lenin died abroad at the beginning of 1917. The October revolution would have taken place “just the same.” But that is not so. Lenin represented one of the living elements of the historical process. He personified the experience and the perspicacity of the most active section of the proletariat. His timely appearance on the arena of the revolution was necessary in order to mobilize the vanguard and provide it with an opportunity to rally the working class and the peasant masses. Political leadership in the crucial moments of historical turns can become just as decisive a factor as is the role of the chief command during the critical moments of the war. History is not an automatic process. Otherwise, why leaders? Why parties? Why programs? Why theoretical struggles?” .The Class, the Party and the Leadership. Russia in 1917 would be a good place to start. You should study how Russian workers organised in their factories and workplaces.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 10:26

Beyond irony.
When you read sentences such as “Our author substitutes mechanistic determinism for the dialectic conditioning of the historical process. you soon realise the piece has been cribbed from some thesis written by a student majoring in Political History in about 1968. Irrelevant BS then and even more so now.
"Workers committees"? Really? Many RM staff can't be arsed to even return the ballot paper for action let alone actually walk out, so the idea that some are going to stick around after their time in some vain attempt to reinvent the CWU is a fantasy concocted in the bubble constructed by the WWSS or WSWS or whatever they are this week.
NB Russia in 1917 isn't a good reference point for anything other than "and this is when the killing started to become measured in the millions".

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 11:05

Please read the article properly it was a direct quote from Leon Trotsky not cribbed from some thesis. These committees are not fantasies but will evolve whether you like it or not. I have a little more faith in postal workers than you. Even a basic look at past struggles of workers outside of the miner's postal workers are the most militant sections of the British working class. I doubt whether you have studied the 1917 revolution in much detail but the revolution itself was pretty bloodless. When Russia was invaded by 17 capitalist governments did the death rate rise.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 14:00

merson01 wrote:Please read the article properly it was a direct quote from Leon Trotsky not cribbed from some thesis. These committees are not fantasies but will evolve whether you like it or not. I have a little more faith in postal workers than you. Even a basic look at past struggles of workers outside of the miner's postal workers are the most militant sections of the British working class. I doubt whether you have studied the 1917 revolution in much detail but the revolution itself was pretty bloodless. When Russia was invaded by 17 capitalist governments did the death rate rise.


Whether you consider the revolution to be pretty bloodless or not is only an opinion. What is immutable fact is that the 1917 revolution began an era of repression, mass killings, starvation of millions etc etc which lasted for decades, and numerically only bested by the other genocidal maniac, Mao.
I await the evolution of these workers committees with anticipation. I'm sure they'll keep us all safe from the next Rico to pitch up.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 17:33

Yes this is the 21st century........ hard to t believe it, isn’t it?
Cynicism? Yes, it is borne of over 30 years in the job......... watching “trusted workers” come and go...... most of them ending up as managers in RM... oh the irony of that!! ...... the firebrand becoming the oppressor!!.... irony heaped upon irony!!
I am sick to the eye teeth of hearing claptrap espoused about the likes of Lenin and Trotsky as though they were mystical visionaries....... they weren’t........ and if they were it was a vision of hell....... go asked the millions that were purged and sent to gulags to rot......... or the millions that died during the cultural revolution in communist China.

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

18 May 2020, 19:59

then every office has its leaders, whether young or usually old.


No they don't.

Every office has about 4 or 5 mouthpieces who speak up for their individual factions.

These factions have disparate goals more often than not directly opposed to each other, some for the status quo and some for different versions of radical change.

Some are on the side of the employer, some are pro-union and some neither.

Sometimes they call an uneasy truce when there is an obvious common enemy but mostly it's more like a civil war without the knock off Chinese AKs.

So who gets to become the war lord?

Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

19 May 2020, 01:03

Woody Guthrie wrote:
then every office has its leaders, whether young or usually old.


No they don't.

Every office has about 4 or 5 mouthpieces who speak up for their individual factions.

These factions have disparate goals more often than not directly opposed to each other, some for the status quo and some for different versions of radical change.

Some are on the side of the employer, some are pro-union and some neither.

Sometimes they call an uneasy truce when there is an obvious common enemy but mostly it's more like a civil war without the knock off Chinese AKs.

So who gets to become the war lord?

I wouldn’t waste your time Woody ........ you will just be seen as a reactionary who needs 20 years “re-education “ in a gulag in Siberia.

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