The Communication Workers Union [CWU] Waives the White Flag

The decision by the Communication Workers Union{CWU} to enter talks at the conciliation service ACAS is a clear indication that it is looking to end the strike and capitulate to the demands of the Royal Mail.

It is no accident that the attempt by the CWU to end this strike coincides with two inter-related developments: the crisis in the Tory party, which has all the hallmarks of a revolutionary crisis developing in Britain and the growing strike movement that is threatening to grow out of the control of the Labour party and trade union bureaucracy.

For the last six weeks, the CWU has sent numerous begging letters to Royal Mail management pleading to be lenient and negotiate with the union, only for Royal Mail to ignore their pleas, escalate executive actions, and threaten mass redundancies. The redundancies are a clear attempt to intimidate postal workers from taking further strike action. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has made it clear that it will not mobilise postal workers against Royal Mail’s declaration of class warfare.

As Tony Robson points out, the union issued “an appeal for the Board to meet and discuss the union’s “alternative business plan”, framed as one offering greater profitability based on “utilising the competitive edge it has already in its deliveries to 32 million addresses across the country.”

Royal Mail’s agreement to talks is a ruse to buy more time to end strikes over the profitable Christmas period and to give the Tory government time to implement draconian anti-strike legalisation.

From the very first days of the strike, the union has put forward a pro-business agenda. David Ward, CWU leader, said shareholders were on the union’s side, boasting on a Facebook meeting that the union had held secret talks with VESA, the same private equity firm pushing through massive attacks on postal workers’ pay and conditions.

As for ACAS, the union is asking postal workers to put their faith in an anti-working class and pro-business organisation. It is not some independent organisation, but a mechanism used by big business to end strikes, as the Refuse workers in Coventry found to their cost[1]

The postal workers’ dispute is now in danger and threatened directly by the CWU bureaucracy’s corporatist strategy, posing the need for the rank and file to take charge. At every Royal Mail and Parcelforce depot, rank-and-file strike committees must be established to fight for the following:

·       An inflation-busting pay award, with all future pay automatically indexed to the RPI inflation rate

·       The immediate provision of strike pay for Royal Mail, BT and Openreach workers and Post Office workers to co-ordinate effective and sustained joint action

·       No negotiations with Royal Mail until all mass redundancies are withdrawn and all executive action ended over the revision of terms and conditions. Any further talks are to be live-streamed.

·       Reach out to Amazon workers who have launched wildcat action against sweatshop conditions in a united front of all delivery workers to defeat the race to the bottom

·       Royal Mail and Amazon must be nationalised, their profits confiscated to meet pressing social needs and their operations placed under the democratic control of workers.

[1] ACAS sides with strike-breaking Coventry Labour council against refuse drivers-

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