Monday, 26 October 2009

Support the striking posties: save Royal Mail


It always depresses me when otherwise smart, kind, compassionate people put those qualities on hold when it comes to strikes. Knee-jerk union-bashing abounds with few asking exactly why it is that a postal worker would sacrifice thousands of pounds in salary and overtime in order just to have a barney with the management and annoy the public.

Victoria Coren wrote a brilliant piece in yesterday's Observer arguing powerfully for supporting the posties as they fight to save yet another bit of the family silver from being privatised by greedy bosses and a discredited Lord nobody voted for.

When the dickheads who run Royal Mail cancelled second deliveries, sacked postmen and made a £321 million profit from a crap service made even crappier, did they pass this on to the hard-working posties or the public? Did they invest? Did they heck! They froze wages and awarded themselves giant bonuses with the proceeds. Coren writes:
'So the profit benefited neither the postmen nor we hapless post-receivers – all of whom are, technically, the owners of the Royal Mail. It's a national company. It's ours. But we'd have been better off if our business had carried on making a loss. The profit simply inspired further cuts and a worse service. It's like telling your wife: "I got a juicy £5,000 bonus this year, so we had better cancel that holiday."'
When will the anti-union public geddit, that the much vaunted "modernisation" as promoted by Lord Mandelson of the Dark Side, means cutting spending by running down the service and treating workers like coolie labour, calling the money they save "profit" and then awarding it to themselves. What sort of society puts up with that?

Some 76 per cent of posties voted for the strike. Is three-quarters of the workforce mad, bad and masochistic? Or is there something else happening that we never get to hear?

Luckily, most people have wised up to yet another privatisation scam and support the strikers. Good luck, guys and gals. Save our Royal Mail.

Hat tip Bill Greenwell

Thanks to Hagley Road To Ladywood for this great piece by a postie on the causes of the strike and the myth of shrinking mail volume as claimed by Fraud Mandelson, and the true nature of the competition.
'None of these companies has a universal delivery obligation, unlike the Royal Mail. In fact they have no delivery obligation at all.'
And Harpy Marx provides this link to John Pilger's New Statesman article, The postal strike is our strike.
'Since coming to office, New Labour has done its best to destroy the Post Office as a highly productive public institution valued with affection by the British people. ... The truth is, the Royal Mail offers a quality service at half the price of its privatised rivals Deutsche Post and TNT. ... Postal workers deserve the support of all honest, decent people, who are reminded that they may be next on the list if they remain silent.'

9 comments:

Oliver said...

great article, spot on!

this prevalent attitude, that striking = wrong in every case, is getting on my nerves to say the least!

and (while i'm on my soap-box) the MSM coverage of the situation has been, as per usual, pretty much a waste of space with no detailed explanation as to the details of the issues being fought over.

Madam Miaow said...

Cheers, Ollie. It was sad yet funny to see the management pipsqueak on last night's news in the wake of the Newsnight poll showing we mostly support the strikers, telling everyone to "shut up!". How's that for a charm offensive?

harpymarx said...

And let's not forget Adam Crozier's pay packet.... All this talk about moderisation and liberalisation is code for cuts while Royal Mail employs thousands of scab labour.

And I am certainly worried what role the TUC is playing in all of this as sell-out comes to mind as opposed to solidarity. And it will be the workers who will be left high and dry by a spineless TU bureaucracy.

Sack Peter Mandelson....oh, lets sack the whole of NL!

Victory to the postal workers and hopefully I will be attending the picket lines this week....

Btw: there's a London posties support group meeting tonight I will be attending.....

harpymarx said...

BTW: see Pilger's piece in the current New Statesman. Excellent stuff!!

http://www.newstatesman.com/uk-politics/2009/10/pilger-postal-public-office

Gwei Mui said...

Well done for posting this (pun not intentional). I have a several mates who are posties. From what I understand regarding the whole lamentable affair the organisation is in a mess. The management are clueless and their Union rep has who is incapable of communicating to the public exactly what the issues are. Example the management is currently changing/amending salaried contracts. My friend - with thirty years of service as a postal worker, wanted a copy of his original contract and the proposed posed amended contract. Not an unreasonable request. HR came back to him and said they could not find his original contract. To which my friend said there must be a copy somewhere, even though it was thirty years ago he does recall signing the document. There are other instances or should I be generous and say inconsistencies which are not isolated incidents which are all adding to the dispute. Such as the "letting go" of permanent members of staff only to see them being replaced by casuals. The withdrawal of overtime for salaried staff, but seeming that work being given to again the casual work force who are less experienced and therefore the work takes sometime twice as long to complete.
The whole situation is unmitigated disaster which in the end if not resolved will result on permanent damage to our postal service - everyone will lose out

Madam Miaow said...

Thanks, Gwei Mui. Casualisation is the future we can expect if this government and its mates get their own way.

claude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
claude said...

Like I said on my blog, management at Royal Mail have got the cheek (to put it politely) to go on about "cuts", "modernisation" (read freedom to sack people on a whim and scrap sickpay)when their Chief took home £3m last year. That's THREE MILLION POUNDS. What the fuck do you do with £3m?

Surely in such a delicate moment he could have done with "just" £2m? Or even £1m?

martha said...

Mandelson & crozier should both be shot you are both a disgrace, they will bring the postal service to it's knee's.The only people who deserve a chunk of the outrageous wages that they get are the posties,I hope the CWU fight this all the way.

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