Charlie Kimber is right about how solid the postal workers' dispute has been (The Politics of the Post Strike, Socialist Review, November 2007).
However since the commencement of the ballot, not unsurprisingly, both the CWU leadership and management have been pushing the deal. Management even put a new letter on our frames offering us £350 on 14 December if the deal is ratified. Billy Hayes even sent out a pathetic "Please support us" postcard. Things must be desperate.
I find it incredible that management can ask us to sign up to a deal that in my own office they have blatantly reneged on. The deal speaks of new ways of working together and yet they have continued to take executive action and expect us to vote yes. So much for the new relationship!
In the CWU you often hear that "rogue" managers are responsible for the problems. The reality is that the rogue managers are the minority who have some commitment to the service and some consideration to our welfare. The reality is that these "rogue" managers are soon weeded out in favour of slash and burn managers who only know profit and savings.
Right now we don't know what the ballot result will be, but either way we do know that postal workers across the country will still be angry that their union still insists on giving money to the Labour Party. Particularly when Gordon Brown joined management in instructing us to go back to work and accept what was on offer. We want a political fund, but one which is democratically accountable to the membership and which we can use to fight the damage that New Labour is doing.