Royal mail workers are in for the fight of their lives, workers and unions are pitted against ‘Rico Back’ a German businessman appointed as CEO at Royal Mail in 2018.
Last month, postal workers voted overwhelmingly to back industrial action in a dispute about job security, conditions and alleged bullying.
Three-quarters of the CWU’s 110,000 members voted – 97.1% supported strikes. Royal Mail employs 140,000 people in the UK.
Relations between Royal Mail and the union deteriorated amid disagreement over the implementation of the four pillars agreement, a deal reached between the two parties last year.
The Communication Workers Union has given its clearest indication to date that there will be industrial action at Royal Mail in the run-up to Christmas and during the general election campaign.
Terry Pullinger, the union’s deputy general secretary, said the CWU was still in what he called a “resolution process” with the company to resolve a dispute that began in May but that talks weren’t progressing and that strike action looks inevitable.
The deputy general secretary, Terry Pullinger, told CWU members they should get ready for the “fight of your lives”.
The four pillars agreement was one of the final acts of the former chief executive, Moya Greene, covering pay rises, pension proposals and moves to reduce working hours from 39 to 35 a week by 2022, subject to productivity improvements.
The CWU said that labour relations have worsened since Greene was succeeded by ‘Rico Back’, who first courted controversy when he picked up a £6m “golden hello” for taking over at the company.
The unions worst fears are relieved the footage of the undercover investigation into ‘Rico Back’s’ European parcels company GLS.
So much for EU workers rights!
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The documentary exposing conditions in ‘Rico Back’s’ European parcels company GLS found employees working up to 13 hours a day and often forced to drive while dangerously tired.
It’s a vision of the future ‘Rico Back’ wants for Royal Mail’s parcels. Meanwhile, jobs will be slashed from the declining letters company.
Workers rights just don’t exist to ‘Rico Back’ Where is the EU protecting these German workers. The cold hard facts are that the only institutions to protect workers are the very unions that over the last 200 years won hard fought battles to give us these rights we constantly fight to retain in this neoliberal system we live in.
Royal Mail workers and unions to launch strike over workers’ rights.
Union spokespersons have said, Royal Mail bosses led by chief executive ‘Rico Back’ are planning a major attack that the union says could cause as many as 40,000 job losses.
Those who keep their jobs will be made to work like robots or suffer low pay on zero hour or bogus self-employment contracts.
It’s the biggest attack that postal workers have faced since Royal Mail was privatised in 2013.
‘Rico Back’ wants to break up Royal Mail into a parcel delivery company run for profit, and a separate letters firm that will be run down.
Bosses hope their new parcel company will allow them to employ workers on much worse conditions similar to those in other private courier firms.
Those left will be forced to take on extra workloads and pushed to work harder.
Pressure to do that has already sparked a stream of unofficial walkouts against bullying Royal Mail managers at workplaces across Britain.
The communications union have stated “If we do not win this dispute this is the future we face.”
The Communications Union refuses to join the race to the bottom.
This fight cannot be delayed
At the time the ballot was conducted, it wasn’t clear that there was going to be a general election.
The Royal Mail plays a crucial role in postal ballots, delivering forms on behalf of local authorities and handling the returns. 8.4 million people voted by post at the last election in 2017.
Last week, Royal Mail asked the CWU to rule out industrial action during the election campaign but the union refused.
Mr Pullinger insisted that it is not in its members’ interests to delay until January, when a strike would caused significantly less disruption.
“We need to raise the profile of this campaign and win this dispute,” he explained.
The CWU is affiliated to the Labour Party, donated £250,000 to its 2017 election campaign and will help fund this one too.
Thus far, Labour has publicly supported the CWU’s right to strike during the campaign. Labour also has plans to renationalise Royal Mail if it forms the next government.
However the question is still open on how Labour plan on renationalise Royal Mail if after a second referendum the result is remain.
Terry Pullinger insists that the union is acting independently of Labour and that it wouldn’t call off strike action even if it came under political pressure to do so.
“We wouldn’t call off industrial action for anybody, not even the Labour Party. This is our dispute and our executive and our reps that will call it off not any political party,” Mr Pullinger said.
‘I think they trust their postal workers more than they do politicians at the moment’