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.

Dave Chapple: postal worker, trade unionist, socialist

It was my great pleasure to read and now comment on the three part autobiography of Dave Chapple, someone I have known for over thirty years. Dave is one of a small band of activists I met during my time as a postal workers' representative (initially in the UCW and then, following the merger with the telecoms union NCU, the CWU) whose record as a fighter for the members is exemplary. He stands alongside the likes of Judy Griffiths, Maria Exall and Phil Waker as trade unionists who in my experience always stood for a fighting union despite the immense pressure to conform. I knew Dave before I...

Little choice in CWU election

Nominations in the posts and telecoms union CWU closed recently, providing further evidence of the sharp decline in the activist base within the organisation. Four National Officer posts saw candidates returned unopposed. That includes three that were vacant following the retirement of the previous incumbents. All the new occupants are drawn from the HQ bureaucracy. This is a sad state of affairs given that five-year elections were agreed by a conference, giving rank and file activists the opportunity to challenge incumbents who had previously been elected for life. Such challenges were a...

BT: take the dispute off hold

The Communications Workers Union’s (CWU’s) ballot for industrial action in the telecoms sector is currently paused. The CWU previously stated its intention to ballot all its members who work for BT group (BT, EE and Openreach) in response to job cuts and site closures and the breaking of long standing agreements with the union. At the heart of the dispute is whether the company’s future strategy will include job security and consultation with the union or not. BT group remains a highly profitable firm in a growing sector. Employees have the right to expect job security and assurances about the...

BT ballot: still waiting

On 30 September 2020, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced that its “Count Me In” campaign against planned job cuts and other attacks to terms and conditions by BT was “stepping into full gear.” More than seven months since that announcement, and nearly six since CWU members voted for industrial action by a 97.9% majority in a consultative ballot, the union has still not launched a formal ballot. More announcements about “intensification” and a “significant ramping up” of the campaign have followed, but no ballot. A large national ballot requires preparation. The CWU is right to...

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...

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