Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fri27Feb09 - Keep Our Postal Service Public, meeting

"Keep Our Postal Service Public" Meeting Friday 27 Feb 7pm

This is to inform you of a meeting called by the Communication Workers Union SW Postal
"Keep the Post Public Campaign"
Friday Friday 27th February at 7pm
in the Novotel, Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6HY

Peter Mandelson is proposing privatisation as a method of improving the service. From our experience and the present economic climate, privatisation is not the answer and will only result in a worse and more costly post for us and worse conditions and job security for those who provide the service.

For more information:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Citywide postal strike looms over sacking of 'Bristol Three'

by Tony Gosling

The Bristol Three - Mikaela Gibb (Kay), Colin Tucker and Paula Franklin

LISTEN HERE http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/688623

Audio Interview with Mikaela Gibb (Kay) and Dave Wilshire, Bristol Communication Workers' Union (CWU) branch secretary.

Renegade Royal Mail Manager takes dispute personally - sacks Mikaela Gibb (Kay), Colin Tucker and Paula Franklin.

Bristol post workers threaten strike over sackings
The possibility of a post strike across the Bristol area took a step forward as the CWU
union stepped up its campaign for the reinstatement of three workers
who were sacked for alleged incidents relating to last year’s national
Dave Wilshire, Bristol CWU branch secretary, told Socialist
Worker that gate meetings are being held at all units in the Bristol
area to campaign for the reinstatement of the “Bristol Three” – Kay
Gibbs, Colin Tucker and Paula Franklin.
He said, “Royal Mail has
chosen to back the decisions of its managers, despite that fact that
there are massive discrepancies in each of the three cases. We will be
campaigning in the lead up to the first employment tribunal on Thursday
7 August with the message that Royal Mail must agree to abide and
reinstate our members if this is ordered.
“The campaign will
culminate in a march and rally through Bristol in early August. Should
Royal Mail not agree to our sensible request then a strike ballot of
allCWU members across the Bristol branch will be held.”

LISTEN HERE http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/28341
Related Link: http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/688622

Thursday, May 29, 2008

UNITE serve injunction on own sacked shop stewards

Unite injunction against Belfast sacked shop stewards
May 29th, 2008
The Unite union has served an injunction against protesting shop stewards, threatening them with fines and imprisonment.
“Unite are trying to deny us our democratic right to peacefully protest.” – Gordon McNeill
The dispute between the sacked airport shop stewards and their union, Unite, was dramatically escalated on Tuesday afternoon.
Sacked shop steward, Gordon McNeill, who was on the thirteenth day of a hunger strike, was served with a court injunction brought by the union barring him from continuing to protest “in or at Transport House”. The injunction makes clear that if any of the three shop stewards involved in the protest, Gordon McNeill, Chris Bowyer and Madan Gupta, continue to protest they may face fines, seizure of assets and/or imprisonment.
Gordon McNeill has responded by escalating his protest from a hunger strike to a hunger and thirst strike. Gordon commented:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

As health workers prepare for ballot, UNISON leaders back off

Unison national secretary has angered union activists by demanding that local branches take a position of neutrality on the issue of a below inflation pay offer.

With UNISION also preparing to ballot members for strike action over pay on the 20th August, days after 95% Royal College of Nursing members asked to be balloted for strike action, UNISON’s leadership have sent a message to all branches demanding that activists take no position on the government’s below inflation pay offer. Do the members serve the leadership or vice-versa?

After the government made their initial pay offer, described at the time by UNISON as “paltry”, the government claimed that this was their final offer and that it would not be improved upon. The government then reversed this position while RCN members were discussing being balloted for strike action with a new, improved offer.

However, many local stewards argue that the new offer is insufficient and deliberately confusing, designed to entice health workers with a promise of there being £400 on offer from November. In reality, the effect of this £400 in November followed by 1.5% from April is worth less than 2.45% in total.

With all this in mind, Unison national secretary Karen Jennings has recently seen fit to put out a circular to all branches saying that any branches taking a position on the marginally improved pay offer will be breaking “‘Democracy in Unison’ guidelines”. As such, Unison local branches are being told to take a policy of neutrality in the face of members being asked to accept a decline in living standards by the government. Local Unison activists have complained and declared the move as being undemocratic and against union rules.

Below is the circular from Karen Jennings, in full:

To: All Health Branches 14 August 2007

Dear Colleagues


The UNISON Health Group Executive ballot of individual members on the Pay Offer is due to begin on the 20 August. The position taken by the Health Group Executive is to consult members without a recommendation as “the best offer that can be secured through negotiation”. This position has been set to branches in the branch communication HC-92-07.

The Health Group Executive agreed specifically not to recommend either acceptance or rejection of the offer. It is therefore extremely important that branches and elected members of regional or national committees should not undermine that agreed policy. To do so would be a breach of the “Democracy in UNISON” guidelines.

This circular emphasises that union bodies at national, regional and branch level must observe and respect the union’s policy position which was democratically agreed by the Health Group Executive on 25 July 07. In addition it is important that Branches are aware of their obligation to ensure that they promote and implement agreed policy.

Yours sincerely,


Homepage: http://libcom.org/news/


Monday, July 23, 2007

audio - Can CWU halt the destruction of Britain's postal service?

Here's an interview with Kevin Beazer regional secretry of the Communication Workers' Union in Bristol.

After 350 years of universal service the British public is facing an end to daily deliveries and high rates for posting letters outside cities.

The press, however, is portraying the present dispute as purely about pay. Kevin Beezer sets the record straight explaining fully the background to the current series of strikes.


thanks to Mark Gobell for the following...
Tax Payer funded industries sold off to the vultures

Ship building
Ambulance Service
Prisoner Transport
Rubbish collection
Care of the elderly
Local Government services
MOD research

To follow ?

Local Goverment
Fire Service
Me and you

Any more ?

I've been in industry long enough to have seen the new thinking being implemented.

From the Thatcherite years it was all about core business, do what you do best etc.

Why run your own IT for example when your company is about selling balloons ?

Result: Over priced IT outsourcing, reduced services levels, less effective provision.

This has been the model that has been repeated up and down the land in every niche of business that could be identified as being profitable.

"Offshored" industries like call centres - the modern slave industry.

Outsourced contracts by the zillion.

Our governments are there to facilitate the needs of big business - nothing more than that.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Today's Royal Mail dispute details

Contact numbers for the Royal Mail/CWU dispute
Kevin Beazer SW regional secretary 07787 516631
CWU Bristol office 0117 935 0055

Royal Mail doesn't need the tension of full competition

The upcoming industrial action is essential for preserving our postal service

Gregor Gall
Wednesday June 27, 2007
The Guardian

Since 1979, Royal Mail has undoubtedly fought an unceasing battle to be
both "one of the last great public services" and a "commercial company" as
your leader column suggested (Royal Mail: No delivery, June 22). And, yes,
the strike this Friday does indicate that "postal workers are fighting
change that Royal Mail insists is essential"; but it is no God-given

Postal workers understand the link between decent working conditions and a
decent public service. Through the Communication Workers' Union (CWU) they
have organised to defend both, and the link between the two. So the battle
is actually over both pay and jobs because this is about the quality of
postal workers' working lives and the service they provide.

In conducting the research for my 2003 book, The Meaning of Militancy?
Postal Workers and Industrial Relations, it became clear to me how much
pride postal workers invested in their jobs. Their ethos was to provide a
vital universal service to all, and for them the issues of a sufficient
number of workers necessary to provide a quality service became two sides
of the same coin.

The current dispute does not, as you suggest, stem from "the spirit and
structure of an organisation that is neither private nor public [but]
caught in limbo". It stems from a neoliberal agenda pursued by Tory and
Labour governments alike.

In 1988 and 1996, postal workers were forced into two national summers of
strikes to defend their terms and conditions of employment. By the new
millennium, they had become the most militant of the remaining highly
unionised workforces. The Tories tried to privatise Royal Mail - a bid
that failed in 1994. New Labour then established the postal regulator,
Postcomm, in 2000 and encouraged deregulation of the postal market in
advance of that required by the European Union. But just as Labour has
redlined various issues in order to negotiate EU opt-outs, it could have
chosen to protect one of the last great public services by doing

This would be the best way to "protect Royal Mail's public-service role",
as you desire, rather than continually have the tension between this and
"full competition". The public-service role, a universal service provision
and fair employment cannot be provided by market mechanisms and private

Take away the competition and insert the public-service ethos, and the
"change that Royal Mail insists is essential" would cease to be essential.
Do this, and this Friday's strike becomes unnecessary. This would be, to
use your words, an "acceptable compromise". Customers and postal workers
could then have confidence in the public service all year round. But none
of this is even remotely possible without a fight. Indeed, as you rightly
point out, Royal Mail shows "no sign of caving in".

Rather than the CWU's action only making things "worse", as you allege,
its resistance could help generate wider opposition, and advance the
public-service ethos. As Gordon Brown inherits a decomposing New Labour
project, now is the best time to start this process.

· Gregor Gall is professor of industrial relations, University of