Britain: Postie’s to strike over pay?

Postal workers will shortly be balloted on taking industrial over an 18 month pay deal of 4.5%. If they vote for action this will be the first national action for 7 years and the first pay dispute since the nine week strike of 1971.

So why are the posties about to take this action? It has become clear over the last 12 months that there has been a complete

change in the leadership of Royal Mail. First of all came the 1 day per week, £20,000 per year + bonuses resulting in excess of £100,000 for Chairman, Alan Leighton. He was appointed by the government to take on the union. Leighton has since appointed ex-FA Chief Executive, Alan Crozier, to the same position within Royal Mail with an annual salary of £500,000, a £500,000 "signing on fee" and the potential for £1m per year in bonuses (who does he think he is – David Beckham?).

Over the last 18 months directors’ salaries have also increased massively.

So what have Royal Mail offered the "ordinary" postie? Three per cent this October with a further 1.5% next April. Postal workers currently earn £261 a week basic, many of these workers are still on a 6 day week. This means that in October their earnings will rise to £269 and to £272 in April, nowhere near the £300 a week target for this year’s pay deal. Not only that, they also want us to accept the dismantling of our industry.

If we were to accept 30,000 job losses, around 20% of the workforce, and pick up their workload, reach all the unachievable local and national targets we may get an extra £26 a week.

At the same time managers have just received a bonus of between £800 and £2,000 as according to Chairman Alan Leighton "they are the ones at the sharp end". It’s quite clear it is time for action. The union must launch major campaigns to get a massive yes vote to get us to £300.

Vote yes for industrial action

£300 a week now!

No to 30,000 job losses

35 hour, 5 day week

All CWU officials to live on a postie’s wage

Sack the Post Office Board

This article was taken from the August/September issue of International Socialist, newspaper of the CWI in Scotland.

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August 2003