Article from the June 2005 issue of the Socialist
newspaper of the Socialist Party, Irish section of the CWI
An Post - 5% pay offer an insult
CALL A ONE DAY STRIKE
by Terry Kelleher, CPSU Trustee.
AN POST workers have been told they must subsidise the postal services social obligation. The assessors appointed to decide whether An Post could "afford" to pay workers wage increases due to them under the national wage agreement, (5% of which has been owed since 2003) have decided that An Post can only afford to pay 5% back dated six months. They say a further 3.5% due to the workers should only be paid based on a productivity deal.
This judgement has correctly been rejected by all of the postal unions. The Socialist Party warned prior to this process that the Labour Court route would favour management over workers.
A new strategy is needed to fight for our pay rises, fully back dated and with no productivity deal or strings attached.
If management get away with implementing this deal, it means that postal workers will be taking a pay cut to fund the social service provided by An Post.
The main union, the CWU which put faith in this Labour Court process must now reassess their strategy. An Post's management have now grabbed with two hands this report and say they are going to implement it before the final recommendation from the Labour Court. They are attempting to quell some of the anger of the union's membership. But this won't work, staff are still very angry and feel cheated. Many want the unions to take action now and fight for all pay owed.
Unions should now turn their faith from the Labour Court and put it in their membership and call for industrial action to secure all monies owed. A two pronged strategy of industrial action and protest is needed to force An Post management to pay the wage increases in full and also to force the government to provide a subsidy to An Post to meet its social obligations.
All of the postal unions should unite and build now for a one-day strike of all An Post staff as the first step in a new campaign that puts faith in postal workers not the pro-management Labour Court.