BRIGHTON GREEN PARTY TRADE UNION GROUP STATEMENT
The Green party Trade Union Group are supporting the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in its industrial action against Royal Mail. The CWU is seeking to defend postal services and is calling for a decent living wage for postal workers. Royal Mail has offered a below inflation wage increase and is changing working practices, so that already low waged workers will no longer be able supplement their basic take home pay through working overtime. In effect this amounts to a further cut in their wages. Royal Mail has spurned the chance to work with the CWU to develop a plan that secures the future of the service and looks after the interests of its staff. Instead it is pushing ahead with plans that will see up to 40,000 jobs across the country go and cuts to pay and pensions. Apart from the human cost, if such a plan is allowed to be implemented, the public will suffer too. Post offices form vital community hubs and many will be closed and deliveries affected. The Royal Mail must restart negotiations bbecause postal workers provide a crucial service, which many take for granted and with hardly a thought to low wages earned by postal workers. Greens will continue to support CWU in its fight to protect those who work for the Royal Mail and the vital services they provide.
(with acknowledgements to Brighton GPTU and Cllr Sven Rufus).
NEWS FROM THE NORTH (Paul Cooney writes:)
On Wednesday this week, Huddersfield Trades Council organised a Public Sector Workers' Pay Rally. I was invited to speak, along with the local CWU leader, the National President of CPS for Dept of Work and Pensions, and a Unison rep from Local Govt branch. I'm the Secretary of the Unison Health Branch and spoke about the Govt attacks on the NHS as well as the pay issue. We got good press coverage locally and I was interviewd by our local radio station, along with the CWU rep. I agree wholeheartedly about more of us getting involved with the TU's, but then again I would say that, having been a TU activist all of my working life. All the local TU activists know that I'm a GP member, and although not many agree with the Party, I gain respect for my work, which in turn reflects on the GP.
I got our local (Kirklees) party to pass a resolution backing the CWU dispute and again the local press gave us good coverage. It's only by working at the grass roots level that we can convince disenchanted labour supporters that the GP has policies (and activists) that they can trust, and I urge all of us to do everything we can to keep up the struggle and become prominent in the TU movement.
Kirklees GP resolution:
"Kirklees Green Party recognises that the CWU members in Royal Mail and Post Office Limited, are taking industrial action, not only for fair pay, but to secure services that the British public rely upon. Post Office Limited staff are facing a mass cull of Crown Post Offices across the UK accumulating to the loss of up to 1500 jobs, and the transfer of some counter services to W H Smiths, with subsequent reductions in pay and conditions. The dispute between Royal Mail and CWU has developed over a 2.5% pay offer and the company´s intention to cut 40,000 jobs, cut postal services and implement a business plan that will reduce pay by 25% over the next few years. The Royal Mail service also faces unfair private competition by companies who are creaming-off the business mailings between main urban centres, but who do not have to provide the universal delivery service that Royal Mail gives to the whole nation. This Labour Government is intent on placing more and more public services under private companies´ control, purely on ideological grounds. The Green Party firmly believes that the provision of public services should remain under public control and accountability, and as such gives its full support to the workers in these disputes."
Paul Cooney (Clinical Development Facilitator for Paediatrics and Pathology, Clinical Governance Support Unit )