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(en) Ireland: Workers Solidarity #81 - The Pay-Rise is in the Post

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Sun, 30 May 2004 10:36:54 +0200 (CEST)


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Dishonest newsroom bosses spent a couple of weeks in March
and April telling us about the "strike" in An Post. They knew
better but preferred to lie. There was no strike by workers, but
there were hundreds of workers suspended in what was
effectively a lock-out by management.

It all began a few months ago when a dilapidated sorting office
and terrible working conditions led to a one-day stoppage in
Tuam, Co. Galway. After the stoppage workers engaged in a
work to rule when management refused to authorise overtime to
deal with the backlog.

In Drogheda, post boxes were sealed by the company in an
attempt to deal with a two day backlog after workers refused to
cover for those on holiday in a dispute about overtime
arrangements.

An Post management (appointed by the Minister for
Communications) are so incapable and inefficient that they were
able to turn a projected loss of million into ¤40 million within
just a few months. All they seem to be good at is losing money,
barking orders and bullying staff.

Being rightly pissed off over the non-payment of their promised
3%, not to mention the ongoing threat of up to 1,300 job losses,
Communications Workers Union members voted 89.7% for a
strike to get the rise. The CWU executive committee served two
week's notice, giving An Post plenty of time to sort matters out.
As we go to press the CWU has still not used its strike mandate.

Management's response was the introduction of unilateral
changes without negotiation with the union or the agreement of
the staff. This led to 520 workers being suspended for refusing to
work those changes.

The bosses want to demoralise the workforce, making it easier to
cut jobs and ultimately sell off the postal service, complete with a
"tamed' workforce.

Postal workers need to show they won't take this lying down.
Otherwise it will look as if nobody will stand up for themselves
and we will see our services being sold off to fat cats like Tony
O'Reilly and Michael O'Leary.

Workers shouldn't rely too much on the CWU head office.
General Secretary, Con Scanlon, earns ¤250,000 per year as a
di-rector of Eircom Ltd., Eircom Esot Trustee Ltd., Eircom
Fundings (Holdings) Ltd. and Valentia Telecommunications.
And that's on top of his CWU wage!

Con has certainly long forgotten what it's like to be an ordinary
worker. A delivery person earns an average of ¤354.12 per
week.

Common sense tells us that struggles are best managed by the
people who will be most affected by their outcome. Fighting for
reasonable working conditions is tied up with fighting for more
democracy and militancy in our unions. To be effective we need
rank and file control, which means hearing all the arguments and
taking the important decisions at meetings of post men and
women.

by Joe King

Useful links

* Workplace struggles and the unions
http://struggle.ws/wsm/unions.html
An anarchist analysis of the unions alongside specific
coverage of strikes and workplace disputes in Ireland.
===================================
This page is from the print version of the Irish Anarchist paper
'Workers Solidarity'.
http://struggle.ws/wsm/ws/2004/81/democracy.html

We also provide PDF files of all our publications for you to print
out and distribute locally http://struggle.ws/pdf.html

Print out the PDF file of this issue
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/ws/81.html


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