Royal Mail workers indict CWU leadership for rotten sellout of their year-long fight

What is your view on the ballot outcome and the CWU’s betrayal of the year-long struggle of postal workers? Submit your response in the form below the article.

In the aftermath of ballot results announced Tuesday to accept the Communication Workers Union’s (CWU) national agreement with Royal Mail, the World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) has received an influx of write-ins from postal workers across the UK.

Workers wrote to WSWS in response to its article, “CWU imposes historic betrayal of postal workers as Royal Mail agreement accepted”, which resonated with an angry and defiant mood against the sellout engineered by CWU leaders Dave Ward and Andy Furey.

The picket line outside Royal Mail House in Cambridge

Postal workers rejected the lie that Tuesday’s result was the outcome of a “democratic process” and that the yes vote represented “overwhelming endorsement” for the pro-company “Business Recovery, Transformation and Growth Agreement”. Many pointed to the CWU leadership’s overturn of strike mandates, exposing the bureaucracy’s contempt for the democratic rights of members.

Workers explained the national agreement betrays “everything we fought for”, while preserving the CWU bureaucracy’s “topflight salaries” and partnership with Royal Mail.

There is widespread reporting of mass resignations from the CWU, as it turns back the clock on all workers’ hard-won rights, establishing a benchmark for Amazon-style sweatshop conditions.

The Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee will be commenting further on how the defiant stand of workers can be turned into a collective mobilisation to defeat the CWU’s line-up with Royal Mail.

Royal Mail workers speak out:

Cleveland and Redcar, North Yorkshire: This gives the management the green light to put in place everything they have tried for in years, with the added bonus of having the union on side. The worst day for the workers since the Miners’ strike.

Gloucester: Ward/Furey/Webb at no point have you truly represented individuals in the Postal Service, as it seems you've fought only to maintain your ties to the RM Management Table. Your comment, that this is “No time to leave the Union!” sounds like the demands of a Ponzi Pyramid Scheme seeking to maintain its subscription level, and topflight salaries, without thinking about the crumbs we’re left to swallow. Release control of the union. You command no further respect.

Southampton, Hampshire: I am a postal worker, and the unions have betrayed us and everything we fought for… crossing every red line. What did we strike for, all for nothing? The sacrifice we made for what? The sick pay, later starts and all the other things. They said this job was not worth doing in the future if we agreed to their demands. Even our local CWU rep is embarrassed to be in the union. We did not even get a strike fund, and yet they took weekly CWU membership deductions from our wages. Today I cancelled my CWU membership out of disgust.

Hull, East Yorkshire and Humberside: What a total whitewash by the CWU. Ward/Furey must go. Lined their own pockets and stabbed the work force in the back for their own means. Time for all workers to cancel their subscriptions, this union is thinking of themselves. I am absolutely disgusted in the betrayal by Ward and Furey. Just found out two people are running for CEO of Royal Mail: Dave Ward /Andy Furey, votes already taken place. Ward/Furey sharing post and running CWU, or as now known non-communication workers union. Back stabbers, both a pair of selfish b*******.

Bellshill, Scotland: Disgusting betrayal by the CWU.

Glasgow: Angry but not surprised by the ballot result. The surrender document that Ward holds so dear will come back and haunt him. At a time when non-unionised workers are looking to organise and fight for decent conditions and pay, Ward and his overpaid sidekicks are throwing away rights won by previous generations. Their names will live on in ignominy.

Perth: Terrible decision, you watch the changes escalate by Christmas. We’ll be working all hours, total sham, yes voters you’re in for a shock. See the union are pleased with themselves, must be thousands of members ready to leave, not surprised. Start a new union, couldn’t be any worse. The DPD and Amazon drivers you see at 8 o’clock on Saturday and Sunday nights, that’s now us. Well done morons sold your soul for a grand.

Greater Manchester: Royal Mail will consider £900 a person a bribe well worth paying, especially as it also further motivates the managers enforced with overseeing all the cost cutting on the front line who now also get a little bonus; and they got the union hierarchy to convince us to vote for a payout for these lackeys. Can’t wait for those who voted yes, after repeated promises from Royal Mail of no changes until March 2024, to start moaning about working 30 hours for free this Autumn. Their social media posts were the online equivalent of the £350 million to the NHS Brexit bus. “No changes” was a deliberate lie put out by Royal Mail and not once challenged by the CWU. If the true horrors of the deal were fully explained the vote may not have gone the way they wanted. CWU chose to endorse this deal because they had no Plan B. Neither did Royal Mail. This was for them Plan A, at worst Plan A-. They got if not everything they wanted, at least progress in all areas and much closer to their wishes, than our needs. And the bribe cost them £50 as £900 is offset by £850 in free unpaid overtime this Christmas.

Northumberland: Regardless of the vote, I’m working my contracted hours. 39 Winter, 35 Summer, and 37 whenever that’s supposed to be. It’s summer now and we can’t cope on 37 hours and are expected to do two hours less. Well so be it. Cut off times it will be. And to be polite as I can... They can f*** their ‘flex’ time. They get no more sweat out of me other than those actually contracted.

Cardiff: It’s terrible at Royal Mail!! How do we get rid of the CWU and have a new union?

Berkshire: I work in a Delivery Office, we have only 14 deliveries. Every day we only have 12 postmen to cover. We have had an extra hour to an hour and a half delivery from 3 deliveries taken out in the revision. We are continually told to concentrate on Tracks [tracked parcels] and specials. Tracks are not even included in the USO! Every day most deliveries have more than half of the mail undelivered. I have now left the CWU, their complete cave-in to Royal Mail was disgusting. I still want to know what they have done with the strike fund!

Blackburn, Lancashire: I’m shocked a deal was even considered until every one of our work colleagues sacked or suspended were given back their jobs unconditionally. These are people whose lives have been turned upside down and we should be out representing them as they did us. The whole deal is a sham and the end of Royal Mail. It is also the end of my membership with the CWU. I won’t be giving them another penny of my hard-earned pittance. R.I.P Royal Mail.

The Postal Workers Rank-and-File Committee is holding a Zoom meeting on Sunday July 23 to discuss the outcome of the ballot and the way forward for postal workers. All rank-and-file workers are invited to register and attend.