Posts Tagged ‘CWU’

We need a fair pay revolution to re-balance the economy

01/11/2014, 10:55:58 AM

by Amanda Ramsay

The UK needs a wages-led recovery. According to poverty campaigners and researchers at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation the cost of living has gone up by 28% in the last six years, while wages have only gone up by 9%.

This cost of living crisis means bills are rising, often debts too, as many households fight a daily battle to make ends meet, with less and less cloth to cut from each month.

Following the global financial crash, food costs have soared in the UK   with price rises, since the recession started in 2007, ranging from 24%-55%, according to government figures.

Of course, it’s not tough for everybody right now. Statistics from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) show top chief executives earned 45 times the average wage back in 1998, now it is a massive 185 times as much. Such companies’ appear to be able to afford to pay the Living Wage.

It is a false economy for the current government to sit back and stomach low pay, as small disposable income levels suck demand out of our economy, with less money to spend in retail. As Kevin Slocombe of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) told me: ‘The TUC as well as countless economists believe a wages-led recovery is the only logical financial show in town.

“What we need is a new government, with an agenda for change. In May 2015, we have the ballot. We need a Labour government committed to national renewal and regeneration, with well-costed and convincing plans to re-balance the economy.”

Meanwhile, anti-politics messages resonate in a vacuum from the likes of UKIP, with trust in politicians and politics at an all-time low. A MORI survey in 2011 showed startling figures, of only 14% of the public believing politicians to tell the truth. 80% – that’s four in every five people – actively said politicians do not tell the truth.


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We must keep the Post public

18/07/2012, 11:56:15 AM

by Amanda Ramsay

Yesterday the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee published Post Office Network Transformation: a progress report, scrutinising controversial plans to change post office services. It makes stark reading for users of postal services and postal workers alike.

From this summer, many consumers across the UK will see a new model of post office in their area known as a Post Office Local, moving services to within existing retail premises, such as shops and garages. The so called “Local model” will not offer the full product range of traditional sub-post offices, leaving hundreds of postmasters and their communities facing the loss of core post office services.

Billy Hayes, Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary, is calling for a moratorium on any formal rollout of the Locals model and says: “If this programme marches ahead, post offices close and then services fail, it will either be costly to re-open a post office or will leave communities without these services.”

The Locals model would have simply been rolled out, had it not been for the work of the MPs on the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee and the CWU, who asked the committee to carry out this review.

This Tory-led government wasted no time in getting to work on privatising postal services. Something even Margaret Thatcher hesitated to do. The Postal Services Act (2011) allows the government to privatise the Royal Mail. The Post Office is already operating as an independent company as of this year, with little noticeable political discussion or dissent. There needs to be a high profile public campaign to protect this valued institution.

Right-wing calls for these changes to post office services date back to 2010 when the government made a policy announcement: “Securing the Post Office Network in the Digital Age”. One of the arguments advanced at the time was that the rise of e-mail correspondence had reduced the need for post office services. But, the huge rise of internet shopping says otherwise, as parcel traffic is at a high.


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Alex Halligan wants the unions in the race

20/05/2010, 02:29:09 PM

We need trade unions as a country and as a party. Trade unions have consistently been the biggest contributors of activists, of finance and of dedication since Labour’s formation at the turn of the last century.

With the leadership battle already well under way, the question for the rank and file is quite simply: who will represent the interests of working people?

The union vote will be very important in the coming contest. Unions carry nearly 30% of the electoral college vote; whoever wins would be wise to seek their support. A North West TUC official claimed that the big trade unions “all have a different choice in terms of their preferred candidate.”

Pressure from the grass roots is reaching fever pitch. The flurry for branch nominations has already begun. Demands are being mounted upon the ruling committees of the sixteen affiliated unions. A Unite regional organiser said that his union “is actively encouraging members to participate in choosing a new party leader.” (more…)

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