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Back posties' resistance

The four-to-one vote for strike action illustrates that CWU members understand the implications of privatisation.

Royal Mail workers have delivered a stunning riposte to government privatisation of their industry and to City slickers licking their lips at the prospect of feeding off its entrails.

Their four-to-one vote for strike action illustrates that CWU members understand the implications of privatisation.

We have already seen collaboration between Vince Cable and bankers Lazard to undervalue Royal Mail and rob the taxpayer.

And the workers know that, if privateers get their wish, future profits for institutional parasites gobbling up Royal Mail will be gained by systematic erosion of their pay and conditions.

Government ministers and capitalist media are trying to create positive privatisation headlines, stressing the windfall for staff and small-scale speculators taking an immediate profit by selling their underpriced shares to the big boys.

But the CWU, other Post Office unions and their members have been here before at previous failed attempts to privatise the people's postal service.

They have studied the effects of three decades of privatisation since Margaret Thatcher first began flogging the family silver.

Britain's postal workers have also witnessed the dog's breakfast that German and Dutch services have become following privatisation.

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward's list of demands as part of a joint legally binding agreement has been carefully drawn up to outlaw what has become standard practice after other privatisations.

Neither the union nor its members will accept a privateers' bonfire of their job security, pay and pensions rights.

Nor will they countenance a postal service that is hacked about, franchised and fragmented in which individual cowboy companies will orchestrate a madcap race to the bottom for workplace rights.

CWU opposition to privatisation is long-standing and has attracted backing from small businesses, rural communities and a broad cross-section of society opposed to the pillaging for profit of this well-loved institution.

Cable and his Tory co-conspirators believed that they could wrong-foot the CWU and the majority of the public supportive of its position by pushing through privatisation at the double before the union could organise pre-emptive strike action.

They have steamrollered through a change of ownership, but the privateers' real profits bonanza is still out of reach.

Their bonanza requires trade unionists' acquiescence to Royal Mail reorganisation, allowing jobs and conditions to be blitzed into the standard glut of profits, dividends and boardroom bonuses.

By their ballot CWU members have rejected ideas of surrender and told government and privateers to think again.

How many MPs have an approval rate of 78 per cent in a 63 per cent turnout?

That is the scale of workers' anger.

Politicians from all sides, especially the coalition parties, should tell the government to accept the CWU offer of talks and recognise that their attempt at grand larceny has delivered a hollow victory.

Whoever owns Royal Mail, its historic gains for workers and consumers must not be squandered.

Who could doubt that a second CWU ballot on boycotting Royal Mail competitors' part-sorted postal items will throw up a similar result?

All trade unionists should back outstanding CWU resistance on November 4 and follow it up the next day by backing the People's Assembly's Bonfire of Austerity day of action.

Activists from 75 People's Assemblies across Britain will take part in direct action and civil disobedience to dramatise opposition to austerity and privatisation.

Back our posties on November 4 and join the mounting resistance on November 5.


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