WORKERS at hundreds of postal depots held rallies in support of strike action yesterday, vowing to fight for the future of Royal Mail.
Post bosses are facing anger from workers over cuts to pensions and benefits. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says bosses have “broken promises” they made to maintain jobs, terms and conditions when the service was privatised in 2013.
CWU officials at TUC Congress visited delivery offices on the south coast as part of a national day of meetings at workplace gates.
In a barnstorming speech to workers in Worthing, CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said: “The Royal Mail is one of the greatest social inventions of our history and it’s still absolutely relevant.
“This [union] leadership is not going to pull the ladder up on the next generation.
“We built this industry, and I’d rather smash it to bits rather than hand it over to them and watch them stuff their mouths with gold.”
Mr Pullinger branded management “wrong’uns” and said the union had a duty to stand up for workers when they were under attack.
He urged the workforce to not “sit on the fence” and pick a side between the union and a future of deteriorating conditions.
CWU leader Dave Ward and his deputy Tony Kearns also visited a depot in Brighton.
The CWU has served notice on Royal Mail for a vote on industrial action.
They will be subject to the new 50 per cent turnout threshold under the Trade Union Act.
Bosses had put forward plans to move workers from a defined-benefit pension to a “cash-out” defined-contribution scheme.
The union has put forward an alternative for a “wage in retirement” where pension risk would be shared between the company and workers.
The CWU’s “Four Pillars” strategy also calls for a new delivery structure, a shorter working week and the extension of legally binding agreements on terms and conditions.
In a circular distributed to workers yesterday, a copy of which was seen by the Star, Royal Mail argued that the CWU’s claims are “not correct.”
The company says it has revised its proposals to offer workers a “defined-benefit cash-balance” pension.