You'd think there was only one answer to Thompson's provocation: strike now and call his bluff!
Yet what does Dave Ward propose? Gate meetings to ask us “Do you support a vote of no conﬁdence in Royal Mail Group CEO, Simon Thompson?”!! Union officers are instructed to take a show of hands and send the photo of these hands to HQ... Could you even make this up?
Oh, and yes, there must be a “reading”, to all who are gathered there, of the union leaders’ “alternative strategy" for the “business” to show how reasonable and co-operative they are being! As if Thompson and his voracious big shareholders give a damn about this alternative! Union leaders have tried presenting “alternative plans" ever since there was such a thing as a trade union bureaucracy... And the bosses always laughed them out of court!
At least our strikes - not good enough because they were stop-start - still drove it home to Thompson&Co that it's us workers who make every single penny of RM’s profits. He complained bitterly that we'd lost “him” £219m! Well we can make his eyes water with “his” losses from a strike over Xmas! What have we to lose if the company is bankrupted, since our view is that it must go back into public hands - our hands! And btw, why is “re-nationalisation” not part of Dave Ward's “alternative strategy”? Is it because he agrees with Thompson that RM should be a profitable private business?
Thompson has said he's going ahead and imposing the changes the Board wants. More job cuts, 9 months max redundancy pay, all the cuts in conditions, casuals, second tier workforce, etc... But of course he can't get far if we just fold our arms and say “NO". And stick to our jobs.
As for our pay, it's always been low - 25-30% less than the national average of £33,000! Yet the bloodsuckers upstairs offer a 3.5% pay rise? We could well demand the same as nurses - RPI + 5% - and we'd still be earning under the average wage! So nobody should say this is not about the money. It is! And let’s repeat: we demand a refund for all the pay the company stole from us for striking. Strikes are not our “pleasure”, they are our force of discipline on the undisciplined company bosses. Losing our wages isn’t part of this deal.
RM is bringing in temps. But this plan B of theirs could well backfire. Not only because temps are in very short supply and cannot substitute for us, no matter how much managers bully them. But also because by now, no worker is naive enough to think that the bosses have their interests at heart... many of them might well decide to join us...
So let's face up to the bosses and do what we have to. We are not alone. The whole working class is facing de facto wage cuts and austerity. Yet there are billions at the disposal of the ruling class and bosses like Thompson; their cupboard isn’t bare; we just have to force its doors open!