CWU

AWL Postalworker bulletins

Bulletins Workers' Liberty supporters have made the following postalworker bulletins, for Royal Mail workers: November-December 2019: Fight to abolish all anti-union laws! February 2020: We need national strikes See other articles on CWU, Communication Workers' Union, and on anti-union laws, and the struggle against them.

CWU must ballot now on BT jobs!

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) continues to tell its members in BT Group, including EE and Openreach workers, to “get ready to vote yes”, in a long-promised ballot for industrial action. The union has held a series of well-attended online meetings for workers, most recently for EE workers on Tuesday 27 April. BT workers voted overwhelmingly in an indicative ballot in late 2020 for industrial action. There has been an online campaign (“Count Me In”) building support for an apparently imminent ballot. But there is still no timetable for the ballot itself. On 30 April, a CWU statement...

Royal Mail: union embraces partnership

After a period of turbulence, including an industrial action that was struck down by the courts, the principal Royal Mail union CWU is embracing a partnership approach with the company. A joint online Q&A was held in late April, hosted by the CWU, where both parties answered questions from workers. This love-in failed to deal with the real issues and consisted of vague promises to fix things. The union has lost so much ground over the last 30 years it is unrecognisable from the organisation that once enjoyed real power in the workplace. Its activist base has shrunk dramatically, with what...

BT: time to fight back on jobs

170 BT Repayment engineers who work for BT Openreach have taken 15 days of strike action against management’s regrading plans for their group. Negotiations are happening this week with BT on the issues of concern including future grading and promotion opportunities. These negotiations are taking place against the background of a potential CWU company wide ballot on job cuts in BT group, i.e. BT, Openreach and EE. The largest number of job cuts has been announced in Openreach. Those are a result of management plans for site closures (mainly in London and the South East) and a significant...

BT workers gear up to ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been holding online meetings for members around the country, as it prepares to launch an industrial action ballot in BT Group. The union’s “Count Me In” campaign has seen well-attended meetings take place throughout recent weeks, with union reps and officers discussing how to resist BT bosses’ plans for job cuts and attacks on terms and conditions. In late March, BT announced plans to give its workers a non-consolidated “pandemic bonus” of £1,000 in cash, and £500 worth of shares, a move which the CWU denounced as a bribe, calling attention to the fact...

CWU democracy on hold

Having failed in a previous attempt to move to a biennial conference, the NEC [National Executive] of the post and telecoms union CWU has used the Covid crisis as an excuse to cancel this year’s conference, which would normally take place around the end of April. This means branches will not have an opportunity to shape union policy again until 2022, three years on from the last conference. However, the NEC has announced a one day rules revision conference next month to deal with what it describes as proportionality issues. This is likely to be yet another attempt to dilute democracy in a...

Union plans all-BT ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced plans to ballot its members working for BT, including Openreach and EE. The union said a ballot would take place “barring a dramatic eleventh-hour about-turn by a belligerent new senior management team which has now spent more than a year pursuing a brutal and needlessly confrontational agenda.” BT Group plan a restructure which the CWU says will involve site closures, job cuts, and attacks on terms and conditions, including pension arrangements. In December 2020, CWU members in BT voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action in a...

Openreach engineers strike again

BT Openreach engineers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) struck again on 3-5 March, with further strikes planned on 18-20 and 22-25 March. And on 11 March, the CWU announced it would move to a wider formal industrial-action ballot in "every part of BT, Openreach and EE where the CWU is recognised for collective bargaining purposes". CWU members in that wider area have already voted overwhelmingly for action in an indicative ballot. The Openreach strikes, which involve a workforce of 170 Repayments Project Engineers (RPEs), working to move or protect BT cabling during construction works...

Rank-and-file links key

Thanks to Dave Chapple for his article (in Solidarity 583), which is an important contribution to the history of trade unionism in the UK Post Office. As a CWU [Communication Workers’ Union] activist of 25 years standing I would like to add some additional comments. I joined Royal Mail in the 1980s. Like Dave, I found that my older colleagues sometimes talked about 1971. Indeed, the key branch officials had all taken part in the strike. As I became more active in the union, one interesting theory I heard was that Tom Jackson was actually playing a game of internal politics within the UPW...

Openreach workers strike

Engineers working for BT Openreach struck on 24-25 February, in a dispute over proposed changes to their terms and conditions. Further strikes are planned on 3-5 March. The workers, who perform specialist work moving and preserving BT cabling during major building works, are resisting the imposition of new contracts which would lead to pay cuts. Bosses claim the difference in pay would be topped up by bonuses, but workers say this would represent a “performance-related-pay” scheme where pay is tied to productivity rather than a guaranteed salary. The strikes, the first by any BT workers since...

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