CWU MOTIONS TO LABOUR CONFERENCE 2019
Please find attached to this LTB copies of the union’s two motions, as agreed by the NEC, to this year’s Labour Conference, which cover the future of Royal Mail and the wider world of work campaign for a four day/shorter working week.
The Future of Royal Mail Motion
This motion is very timely given the major dispute we are currently involved in and outlines the union’s vision for Royal Mail in public ownership, building on Labour’s commitment to re-nationalise Royal Mail at the earliest opportunity, and expresses solidarity to CWU members in the current dispute.
As set out in the motion we are calling for: a new model of democratic public ownership for Royal Mail embedding the voice of the workforce and the public in decision-making; re-uniting it with the Post Office, with a new publicly owned Post Bank; maximum pay ratios of 20:1 which would end the huge pay packets being given to executives; a renewed commitment to the 6 day universal service and the legal protections banning insecure employment models and preventing the break-up of Royal Mail Group; and any surplus (profit) to be re-invested in Royal Mail to expand the role of postal workers and provide tailored services locally to address structural letter decline.
We believe the motion will resonate with our representatives and members, particularly with the ongoing dispute and it’s important they know that Labour supports them and has a positive vision for Royal Mail, the Post Office and the postal industry for the future.
The motion also sends the strongest possible signal to the Royal Mail Group Board and senior management, that in the event of a Labour election victory, the company will not only be renationalised but we will also see a fundamental shift in both its direction and the manner in which it is run.
The Wider World of Work Campaign for a Four Day/Shorter Working Week
This second motion calls for Labour to commit in its next manifesto to rolling out a four day, or 32
hour gross, working week with no loss of pay within a decade which we have policy to campaign on from CWU Conference. We believe working-time is a major issue in the UK where we have longer hours, longer working lives and worse holiday entitlements than almost any other country in Europe. All workers are under increasing pressure and given that we are on the cusp of the fourth industrial revolution, it is essential that workers gain a major benefit from the increased use of technology, automation and artificial intelligence.
Those who have been following the position the union has taken at the TUC and the leading role we are playing in the campaign for a new deal for workers, will see that the CWU is pursuing its strategy to connect our industrial and political agendas.
We would ask branches to debate and circulate these motions to all our representatives and any members who are planning on going to Labour Conference and ask them to support, and if possible speak on, these when they are there.
As we did at TUC, we will be using the union’s social media channels to provide updates from Labour and progress with these motions.
Any queries on the contents of this LTB should be addressed to email@example.com.
A four day week for a fairer, more sustainable country
Working-time is a major industrial and political issue in the UK. Compared to other countries in Europe, we have some of the worst public and statutory holiday entitlements; full-time workers have amongst the longest hours of any country; and with the forthcoming increase in the state pension age, we will have the longest working lives.
But this has not delivered benefits to workers: average pay is lower than before the financial crash; productivity lags significantly behind other countries; and in-work stress is at record levels.
Instead of building a country that works for everyone the Tories are building a country in which you work until you drop – and with the current imbalance of power in the economy, new technology and automation risk exacerbating this by continuing to intensify work, polarise terms and conditions and replace jobs entirely.
Conference believes that reducing the standard working week, with no loss of pay, must be a central pledge in the manifesto and a key aim of a Labour government. In particular, Conference believes this should be part of the strategy to address under-employment, build a more sustainable economy, boost productivity and ensure workers benefit from the 4th industrial revolution.
Conference believes Labour should go beyond the pledge to introduce four new public holidays and commit to setting out a plan to achieve a standard four day or 32 hour gross week with no loss of pay within a decade through sectoral collective bargaining and a new ‘UK Shorter Working Time Directive.’
The future of Royal Mail – the People’s Post
Conference notes the CWU is balloting over 110,000 postal workers for strike action in Royal Mail in a dispute that is an indictment of privatisation, with over £1bn in dividends paid out to private shareholders since October 2013 while pressure has been ramped up on its workforce.
Conference expresses solidarity with CWU members and reiterates the pledge to bring Royal Mail back into public ownership.
Re-nationalisation must be based on a new democratic model of public ownership putting workers and the public at the heart of decision-making.
On the future of Royal Mail, Conference calls for:
- Royal Mail and the Post Office to be re-united in public ownership, with a new publicly owned Post Bank delivered through the Post Office network;
- a new democratic model of governance to embed the voice of the workforce and public in strategic decisions;
- a maximum pay ratio of 20:1;
- a renewed commitment to the six-day universal service;
- a commitment to honour legal protections agreed with the CWU in 2013, reaffirmed in 2018, that have prevented the introduction of insecure employment models and the break-up of the company;
- Royal Mail not to become just a parcels business but instead, to address structural letter decline, the priority must be to innovate and develop an expanded role for postal workers in local communities and tailored services for the local business economy; and
- any surplus to be reinvested in new services and operational decisions to be guided by growing and safeguarding Royal Mail as the People’s Post.