The People’s Post campaign
The People’s Post campaign sets out to defend postal services and decent employment standards in the postal industry – both of which are now under serious threat from privatisation and aggressive regulation. Our campaign can be successful despite Ofcom’s determined to push Royal Mail into a race to the bottom on terms and conditions and to promote competition and efficiency at the expense as well as the Government’s privatisation agenda.
The ownership of Royal Mail may have changed but it always has been, and must remain, the People’s Post.
Following the huge sucess of The People’s Post event in Manchester last year, with over 10,000 people in attendance, The CWU Midlands Region are proud to host the next National People’s Post event in Birmingham on the 4th of June. Click here to see details of the next peoples post event.
Jeremy Corbyn supports CWU’s Postal Workers Day, 14th December 2015
CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, was joined by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to support CWU members on Postal Workers Day (Monday, 14 December) as part of the People’s Post campaign. On what is one of the busiest postal days of the year, they spoke to workers outside Mount Pleasant mail centre in central London, where many of Jeremy’s constituents are employed, then went inside to meet more staff. Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger also launched the day by going out on delivery in Kent with rural delivery postman Damon Waghorn, and meeting members to talk to them about the workplace issues they face. All day CWU members, other unions at home and abroad, politicians and members of the public showed their support for Postal Workers Day and the People’s Post by sharing photos of themselves holding campaign posters.
Report from People’s Post public meeting, Manchester: Building ‘something special’
“We can go away from here and build something special – let’s do it for the millions, not the millionaires,” urged Dave Ward as he brought the tumultuous Manchester People’s Post rally to a close.
With around 1,000 people crammed inside the city’s historic cathedral and several thousand more filling the Cathedral Gardens area outside, this was one of the biggest ever CWU-organised actions – it was certainly the liveliest!
What we are calling for to protect the People’s Post:
1. New and Stronger Legislation to Safeguard Daily Deliveries
Privatisation and years of regulation promoting competition and cost cutting are putting the UK on a path that leads to the end of daily deliveries. The Postal Services Act must be amended to put protecting the USO front-and-centre of regulation, including a ban on competitors cherry-picking in the letter market. The government must publish a review of the regulatory provisions in the Act in 2016, which should be the gateway for this.
2. An Overhaul of Regulation to End Ofcom’s Push for a Race to the Bottom
When the body in charge of protecting and promoting an industry for the country sees its duty as promoting zero-hours minimum wage employers, at the expense of decent employment standards and the service for the public, something has gone fundamentally wrong. Ofcom’s starting point that Royal Mail is inefficient and overpaying its staff is disproved by the fact Whistl could not survive despite being free to cherry-pick the profitable parts of the market.
3. The Government to Retain a Public Voice in the Company
We want Royal Mail to be renationalised as agreed at Labour Party Conference, but as a minimum we want to retain a public voice in the company and increase the workers’ stake. The government has a 15% stake in Royal Mail. Selling this off will threaten daily deliveries and service standards, pressure the company to engage in a race to the bottom on terms and conditions and will mean the loss of any public voice in an important public service.
4. Fair Employment Standards with the Living Wage as a Legal Minimum in the Postal Sector
Royal Mail currently sets the high benchmark for pay, terms and conditions, but the wider postal industry, and particularly the parcels market, is rife with insecure employment models from zero-hours and short term contracts, piece-rate pay below the minimum wage, bogus self-employment and a lack of basic rights (from holiday and sick pay to pensions). This comes at a cost to the public through poor service standards and the welfare system and puts pressure on companies like Royal Mail to join a race to the bottom.
5. Protection for Consumers – New Products and Services and safeguarding access to Post Offices
The postal service exists to serve the public and businesses throughout the UK but regulation and privatisation have not been driven by their interests. Rather than managed decline, we want to see new and innovative services with an enhanced role for postal workers in their communities, and continued access to Post Offices. There must be sensible protections for consumers to guarantee affordability and quality of service. There also needs to be consumer protection in the parcels market – no credible approach to regulation can ignore this as Ofcom has done.
6. The Establishment of a Workers Trust in Royal Mail that gives staff a Meaningful Collective Voice
When it announced the sale of half of its remaining stake in June, the government said it would give ‘up to 1 per cent’ of its final 15 per cent to employees. When the government awarded employees free shares in the initial sale, it designed the trust to deny them the ability to exercise a collective voice. If it wants employees to have a long-term stake and a proper voice in Royal Mail it must reverse this and set up a meaningful workers trust.
Read the report from the campaign launch event which took place in London on Thursday 9th July: Standing up for the People’s Post.
Share your thoughts and show your support with us on social media using #PeoplesPost