not on facebook
ANNOUNCEMENT : ALL OF ROYAL MAIL'S EMPLOYMENT POLICIES (AGREEMENTS) AT A GLANCE (UPDATED APR 2019)... HERE

ANNOUNCEMENT : NEW CORONAVIRUS FORUM... HERE



Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 08:05

wsws.org

By Thomas Scripps

3 April 2020

This Wednesday, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) issued a press release detailing its much-desired meeting with Royal Mail to discuss working conditions during the coronavirus crisis. It makes abundantly clear that precisely nothing has or will come from the CWU’s policy of talks with management. The time has come for postal workers to organise their own action, independent of the union bureaucracy, to protect the health and lives of themselves and their families, as well as all those to whom they deliver mail.


A Royal Mail Postbox drop-off (Flickr.com, Monica Arellano-Ongpin)
When the CWU called off a strike after an overwhelming vote in favor of strike action on March 17, they did so with the claim that a gentlemen’s agreement could be reached with Royal Mail and Boris Johnson’s Conservative government. The union offered to “set aside our differences with Royal Mail” and “gain the government’s support” for turning Royal Mail into an “additional emergency service,” in return for the fond hope that the company would “step back from attacks in the workplace” and implement safe working practices.

Two weeks later, on Monday, against a background of wildcat strikes by postal workers, the CWU was forced to admit that no goodwill was forthcoming from Royal Mail. The union had cancelled a strike to send its members into potentially life-threatening working conditions. Once again, the CWU refused to organise any industrial action, hoping to demobilise postal workers with yet another appeal to “the company and the Government to immediately adopt” a series of safety principles.

Just three days after this statement was released, the CWU have got their answer from the company, and been sent packing. According to General Secretary Dave Ward and Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger, Royal Mail CEO Rico Back refused to attend the meeting pleaded for by the CWU. His representatives were sent with a clear message for the union and for postal workers: “Get stuffed!”

Quoting from the CWU’s own press release:

“The following will summarise what the company stated at the meeting and the content of their subsequent letter:

Despite the increasing pressure on our members through growing sick absence/self-isolation, the company do not believe we need to alter national service standards to move to an emergency network.

Royal Mail will not cease the delivery of D2D [door to door] advertising mail.

Royal Mail will not change their sick absence process, which is punishing innocent CWU members, many of whom who have suffered major illness recently.

Royal Mail said during the meeting it is safe for you to work in your offices without the full provision of Personal Protective Equipment. Royal Mail believe washing hands is the ‘gold standard’ for safety and enough protection for employees.

Royal Mail could not provide any information on how many offices have the necessary PPE in place.

Royal Mail stated the safety concerns of CWU members are not widespread. They said their feedback from managers is much more balanced.

Royal Mail have declined an offer to jointly approach Government on our proposal.

The CEO confirmed that he does not wish to meet the union anymore during this pandemic.”
Royal Mail and its shareholders are determined to extract every last drop of profit from postal workers, whatever the costs to their health. And they can’t even be bothered to maintain a pretence of discussion with the CWU.

Faced with this slap-in-the face and sitting on a huge mandate for strike action delivered less than a month ago, the CWU’s only response is to turn to Boris Johnson with an appeal for more talks! Under a section titled “Next Steps,” Ward and Pullinger announced that they will be writing to the government—which has put the whole country at risk with its response to the pandemic—and also to the Trades Union Congress, which, given their slavish alliance with Johnson, amounts to the same thing. The union will also be “issuing appropriate press statements.”

The CWU’s press release includes two short paragraphs saying:

“If Personal Protective Equipment is not in place for all employees, or in any workplace, then that office should cease its operations until the equipment has been provided to all employees. This includes gloves and hand sanitisers.

“If social distancing measures are not in place, in line with the Government advice (2 metres apart), then the office should be closed until this is rectified. Additional measures in this statement are designed to support the introduction of strict social distancing in every Royal Mail Group workplace.”

The CWU is taking Royal Mail’s declaration that washing your hands is the “gold standard” to heart—washing its hands of the responsibility to defend its own members. It makes individual workers and workplaces responsible for closing down depots, while providing themselves with a “get out clause” for refusing to organise any action themselves.

Postal workers have already taken to social media to denounce this latest CWU betrayal:

“Why are the CWU not telling us to down tools? You’ve had your yes vote, RMG [Royal Mail Group] have made it clear they don’t want to work with the union, even in this crisis we need to strike! It’s the only way RMG will listen and the only way to keep frontline staff safe! What are you not getting?”

“Tell them don’t ask them. Walk out of offices that are putting your members in danger. Get off your **** Dave Ward and protect your members!!”

“Can you not send the head union rep into each office and shut them down if they are not doing social distancing or giving out sanitiser? Or just strike till every office gets the equipment, Royal Mail aren’t an emergency service like union like to think.”

Important political conclusions must now be drawn. The last few weeks of union activity—during which many workers undoubtedly became infected—were a pantomime. The CWU’s sole intention has been to maintain a well-paid seat at the negotiating table with Royal Mail and the government, under the guise of establishing an “emergency service.”

If the CWU will not act even when its members’ lives are imperilled, then of what possible use is the union? Royal Mail workers have reached the end of the road with the CWU. Like workers everywhere, they have been brought face to face with the transformation of the trade unions into appendages of corporate management and the state.

Royal Mail workers must take matters into their own hands. Rank-and-file committees independent of the CWU bureaucracy must be established in every workplace to co-ordinate the action the union has sought to block, while reaching out to workers in other industries facing similar dangerous conditions.

Those who want to organise a genuine fightback of this kind should contact the Socialist Equality Party and build the new socialist leadership that is required.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 09:20

Oh this guy wants to set up his own revolution! This was tried back in the early 80s in royal mail against the ucw (union of communication workers) I think people just got fed up of the constantly trying to insite strikes every other week! If I can remember one strike was called for because they bought Maxwell house coffee instead of Nescafe in the canteen :dance Don't get me wrong we did have a core of people thought it was brilliant but then again the same people used to turn up for work with the intention of not doing a stroke of work anyway! :cuppa

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 15:17

Lol We nearly went out in the 80s because Royal Mail said they would no longer supply pens!! :chuckle

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 16:07

s**t stirring comes to mind.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 16:26

In the 1970s my local British Leyland plant held a two day strike when management tried to stop the night-shift taking sleeping bags to work.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

03 Apr 2020, 18:52

Woody Guthrie wrote:In the 1970s my local British Leyland plant held a two day strike when management tried to stop the night-shift taking sleeping bags to work.



Might explain why my Morris Marina had one in the boot when I got it 2nd hand. :oops: :oops:

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 00:01

TrueBlueTerrier wrote:
Woody Guthrie wrote:In the 1970s my local British Leyland plant held a two day strike when management tried to stop the night-shift taking sleeping bags to work.



Might explain why my Morris Marina had one in the boot when I got it 2nd hand. :oops: :oops:

My dad bought a Austin mini metro city x (in orange :Sick ) and driving it the night he bought it he turned on the lights and nothing happened when he looked at the whole car front and back had no light bulbs in it :chuckle

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 01:45

Post69 wrote:
TrueBlueTerrier wrote:
Woody Guthrie wrote:In the 1970s my local British Leyland plant held a two day strike when management tried to stop the night-shift taking sleeping bags to work.



Might explain why my Morris Marina had one in the boot when I got it 2nd hand. :oops: :oops:

My dad bought a Austin mini metro city x (in orange :Sick ) and driving it the night he bought it he turned on the lights and nothing happened when he looked at the whole car front and back had no light bulbs in it :chuckle

I superpose it was the Donald Trump model!

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 05:36

Woody Guthrie wrote:In the 1970s my local British Leyland plant held a two day strike when management tried to stop the night-shift taking sleeping bags to work.


That is so funny... :Applause

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 13:44

As a thank you to Royal Mail for the way we have been treated (so far), over CV19, I say when it is all finally over, we have a 100% commitment to strike action.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 14:48

masterblaster wrote:As a thank you to Royal Mail for the way we have been treated (so far), over CV19, I say when it is all finally over, we have a 100% commitment to strike action.

Fairly sure there'd need to be a fresh ballot. Anyone know when the current one expires?

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 15:02

SpacePhoenix wrote:
masterblaster wrote:As a thank you to Royal Mail for the way we have been treated (so far), over CV19, I say when it is all finally over, we have a 100% commitment to strike action.

Fairly sure there'd need to be a fresh ballot. Anyone know when the current one expires?


6 months from the date the ballot closed (17th March) - so mid September.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 16:10

SpacePhoenix wrote:
masterblaster wrote:As a thank you to Royal Mail for the way we have been treated (so far), over CV19, I say when it is all finally over, we have a 100% commitment to strike action.

Fairly sure there'd need to be a fresh ballot. Anyone know when the current one expires?


It's actually not clear cut whether a fresh ballot is required if the industrial action is needed, nobody has as far as I know ever suspended a strike for a national emergency before.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 16:15

masterblaster wrote:As a thank you to Royal Mail for the way we have been treated (so far), over CV19, I say when it is all finally over, we have a 100% commitment to strike action.

Given the mess the economy is going to be in when this is all over, I doubt if even Terry and Dave would emerge from their spliff bunker to announce strike action.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 19:44

From where i am sitting what use is the CWU, Royal Mail don't listen or take them seriously,and at the moment doesn't sound if the workers do,think this could be the end of the union as we know it seen as the company don't acknowledge them and they are afraid to strike what is the point.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 20:06

The union has some hard decisions to make, they can no longer pretend that they have any influence with a board that appears to want nothing to do with them.

Dave and Terry have decided to meet Rico head on in what appears from the outside to be more personal than it should be. This high risk strategy obviously hasn't worked. Rico seems prepared to take them on no matter the cost or the loss in staff engagement.

Where the union goes next is difficult to imagine but I think it's time for new ideas and by that I don't mean their abysmal social media strategy, it's naive, condescending and in some ways dangerous for members.

Perhaps what we need more than national officers right now is good workplace reps, good area reps and good branches. Perhaps it's time to rebuild the CWU from the ground up?

There's one thing for sure you can't remove these national officers, they protect each other, stand unopposed and promote their own chosen successors. It's probably the only closed shop left in the trade union movement but as they become more irrelevant to both the employer and the members they may get the message and move on themselves.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

04 Apr 2020, 23:37

Social media bites men on the arse shocker.
The only ones that could not see it was them, and the Facebook wallahs.

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

05 Apr 2020, 10:57

Is the reason the union have done absolutely nothing but say the same thing over and over
Because the release time of reps around the country etc will be removed ?
Maybe they could start at the top and donate their rather large salaries to a sock fund for people on no wages through no fault of their own
Sort things out in the mean time by putting your money where your mouths are
People are losing total faith in the union
How many have contacted them and not got a response
Facebook will only get a small selection posting questions
The rest live in fear of saying anything
Answers emails ,phone calls ,letters ,pms please .
Stop the crappy hard man videos .
Action speaks louder than words ,you got your vote to protect your union ,now protect the members who are also the union ,before there is no union to cream money off for jolly’s

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

06 Apr 2020, 16:10

Woody Guthrie wrote:The union has some hard decisions to make, they can no longer pretend that they have any influence with a board that appears to want nothing to do with them.

Dave and Terry have decided to meet Rico head on in what appears from the outside to be more personal than it should be. This high risk strategy obviously hasn't worked. Rico seems prepared to take them on no matter the cost or the loss in staff engagement.

Where the union goes next is difficult to imagine but I think it's time for new ideas and by that I don't mean their abysmal social media strategy, it's naive, condescending and in some ways dangerous for members.

Perhaps what we need more than national officers right now is good workplace reps, good area reps and good branches. Perhaps it's time to rebuild the CWU from the ground up?

There's one thing for sure you can't remove these national officers, they protect each other, stand unopposed and promote their own chosen successors. It's probably the only closed shop left in the trade union movement but as they become more irrelevant to both the employer and the members they may get the message and move on themselves.


Food for thought Woody. :hmmmm Well Motivated, Pro-Active, Unit Reps would obviously have an immediate impact on more members than anything else, and would be more visible than some new agreement discused out of sight. :cuppa

Royal Mail rejects all demands for basic coronavirus safety measures, but CWU continues to block strike

07 Apr 2020, 10:58

This article has been removed from the dispute section and moved to Coronavirus news Why?. When tried to challenge this in the dispute section my reply was locked

Previous page Next page


Page 1 of 2   1, 2