What the CWU doesn’t want you to know
This wretched postal strike pissed me off even before it started; my feelings on strikes and unions and all the associated irrelevant and redundant attitudes are well known. The posties are claiming the usual shit – they demand absolute and guaranteed job security and a nice fat pension, two things which the vast majority of people in this country haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of enjoying in a modern economy. But oh no, Royal Mail workers are special, just like the train drivers, and public sector workers. They deserve better!
Except they don’t. Today Royal Mail did the dirty on them (via The Daily Telegraph) and told everyone just what sort of unreasonable shit their workers demand of them on a daily basis. Ninety two points were made in total, the twelve most notable of which are as follows:
- Two or three hour minimum daily overtime – so if 30 minutes of actual work is required and completed, then between two and three hours’ payment is demanded.
- An additional allowance claimed for using particular vehicles – regardless of whether the individual has actually driven the vehicle.
- Automatic overtime if mail volumes reach a certain level – regardless of how many ordinary working hours remain that day.
- If a delivery round is finished before the end of the paid shift, the employee expects to be able to go straight home. But if it takes 10 minutes longer two to three hours’ over time is claimed.
- Set overtime level is claimed at Christmas, even if there is no need for any additional hours and no extra hours are worked.
- An additional two hour payment on Easter Saturday – regardless of whether any work required.
- No flexibility between different parts of the same sorting office – if an employee sorts letters for a particular postcode, they will not sort for the adjacent postcode, even though both activities are often in the same room.
- Signing in and out for a shift on arrival – so that no record of actual hours worked exists.
- Collection drivers expect overtime pay for doing collections outside usual route – even if it is done within usual working hours.
- Overtime to cover for an absent colleague – a full day is claimed, even if only half day needed and worked.
- Ban on any cross functional working, even of similar tasks under the same roof.
- Additional meal and grace breaks as custom and practice.
If you felt sorry for them before then I don’t see how you can now. Royal Mail, now a private company fighting for survival since it lost its cushy monopoly, should at this point be firing those on strike in blocks of 100 and rehiring from the pool of migrant workers who are only too happy to work twice as hard and for half as much. Want job security? Don’t fuck over your employer then. How is it difficult to see the logic in that?