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.

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...

The great Post Office strike of 1971

UPW Bristol Branch strike march, February 1971: leading the march were striking day telephonists with Branch Officers Reg Dixon, Harry Varcoe and Monty Banks. Pic: DC This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Great Post Office Strike of 1971. This article surveys the background to the strike, how it was organised, and discusses the reasons for its defeat. Its author, Dave Chapple, is not a member of Workers' Liberty, but the article is published here with his permission, and with thanks. The Union of Post Office Workers, UPW, is the predecessor of today's Communication Workers Union (CWU)...

Towards telecoms strike in BT?

In December, BT Group workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by a 97.9% majority for industrial action to defend job security and conditions, in a consultative ballot. A BT Group worker and CWU activist explains the background to the dispute and other struggles in BT. The national consultative ballot against job cuts and compulsory redundancies across BT is the logical result of the failure of industrial leadership by the CWU Telecoms Executive for over a decade, and also of the disastrous outcome of the 2019 general election for communication workers. The current faction in...

CWU's 98% yes vote in consultative ballot

Communications Workers' Union (CWU) members in BT, Openreach, and EE have voted 97.9% yes to industrial action with a turnout of over 74%, in a consultative ballot closing 10 December. The union has said: "CWU members have fired a very clear warning shot across BT’s bows that, unless bosses change direction on their vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures and attacks on pay, terms and conditions, the company is on a direct collision course with its workforce". CWU has also announced (22 December) that its Postal Executive has ratified a two-year pay and conditions agreement...

BT workers ballot

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is conducting a consultative ballot of its members in the telecom giant BT, which could presage a formal ballot for action to resist what the union calls “a vicious programme of compulsory redundancies, site closures, and attacks on pay, terms and conditions”. The consultative ballot closes on Thursday 10 December, and CWU reps and activists say they are confident of a huge vote in favour of action. Almost 50,000 workers are being balloted. The CWU has also criticised BT management’s “newfound disregard for longstanding agreements with the union that have...

Thirteen murdered working-class women

The death of the killer of thirteen women has elicited an apology from the police for the methods and the language they used during their investigation. The role of the press and they way that they portrayed the victims has also come in for some heavy criticism. Which is right. When you hear their language in the context of today, it is shocking. But in the context of the time it was happening, the police and press fitted right in with the culture that affected all women. Those who had the advantage of class and money had at least some protection from the effect of sexist attitudes on their...

Post walkouts win

At work, postal workers continue to make demands around the provision of PPE, and the implementation of adequate distancing measures at work. The walkouts that have taken place around the country have built up pressure around these demands, and they have largely been achieved in the offices where I work, with PPE being provided and staggered shift times in place to ensure numbers in the workplace don’t exceed levels at which it’s possible to distance safely. We also want to stop delivering junk mail, and prioritise essential personal mail. There was a short walkout at one of the offices I work...

Why still deliver junk mail?

Postal workers on strike - maintaining social distancing on the picket line - in Alloa, Scotland, over workplace safety and having to deliver junk mail (March 2020) The atmosphere in the workplace is strange. You can feel how on edge people are. There are markedly fewer workers in. I think between 50-60 people are off work. Non-driving staff were told not to come in, and people with underlying health conditions were told not to come in. However, some managers were coming in on Sundays, and were trying to get workers to come in on Sundays too to deliver backlogs of mail that had built up...

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