Friday, 16 October 2009

Government Sponsored Union Busting

Last night the BBC revealed on its Newsnight programme, a secret internal document from Royal Mail management regarding their strategy to force through so-called “modernization” reforms, with or without the engagement of the unions; a leaked “Strategic Overview” which has led some to believe that the company is preparing for a stealth de-recognition of the Communication Worker’s Union, a move that Royal Mail has strenuously denied.

The contempt for the CWU is clear, however, when the document explains that they will: “through a mix of pressures bring union to the point where doing a deal on our terms is preferable to the alternative…if they refuse, we have positioned things in such a way as there is shareholder, customer and internal support for implementation of change without agreement.”

The document also embraces the idea that the impending strikes can be used as an “enabler” to push forward their own aims.

strikes make things worse – the more we can demonstrate this to our people the better.”

I wonder if this internal planning has anything to do with the sudden Royal Mail job openings that have recently come up in my own local area? 

As it happens, until the past couple of years, I used to think that being a postman would be kind of a dream job for me.  I get up early anyway; I love post; and any job where I can spend a couple of hours each morning taking a brisk walk whilst listening to my iPod, and then have the rest of the day to myself, seemed like a pretty perfect deal.  As such, I signed up to the Royal Mail jobs alert emails thinking, if ever I was looking for work and a local postman opportunity arose, it would be well worth looking into.

Well, three days ago I received word that there were new postie jobs all around me and at first I assumed it was something to do with Christmas.  Now, however, I wonder if it is something to do with union-busting – hiring a replacement workforce in the event of prolonged industrial action?

I obviously have no evidence that it is anything other than honourable…but I do know that if someone like me were to apply for one of the posts now suddenly on offer all around Birmingham, they would not be – as yet –a member of the CWU, and thus possibly ineligible for taking the strike action?  It’s just a thought – but if Royal Mail’s plans are to force through their changes with or without union agreement, what’s to stop them from hiring non-union workers too?

This is pure speculation at this point, but what I think is important to remember is that the true colours of this company were revealed last night on Newsnight.  They are planning a war.  They are planning on making no compromises and they are planning on getting what they want by any means necessary.

It should also be noted that the “shareholder” referred to in the leaked document is the government.

Royal Mail is planning on ignoring the unions, smashing the rights of every single British postal worker, and disrupting the lives of all of us by refusing to make a fair agreement on modernization…and they are doing all of this with the blessed consent of our leaders.

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