General election – Labour manifesto and CWU candidates
As you will have seen, the Labour manifesto was published last week setting out its policy platform for the general election. The manifesto has commitments on a number of key policy areas for the union that we have been working on and that we have pushed with Labour including:
- Re-nationalising Royal Mail at the earliest opportunity and re-uniting it with the Post Office in public ownership;
- Ending Crown post office closures and setting up a new publicly owned Post Bank through the Post Office network;
- Massive investment in rolling out full fibre broadband and bringing broadband relevant parts of BT into public ownership;
- A wide range of new trade union and individual employment rights including sectoral collective bargaining, new access/recognition rights and banning exploitative insecure employment practices;
- Delivering a 32 hour/4 day shorter working week within a decade;
- Legislating to allow the CDC scheme agreed with Royal Mail to be introduced;
- Introducing inclusive ownership funds to give employees a 10% stake in companies they work for; and
- An ambitious plan to cut carbon emissions and deliver a Green New Deal.
Alongside these commitments, Labour has made a series of announcements on issues from the NHS and housing, to the triple lock on the state pension and free school meals, that would benefit our members and reflect policies that have been passed at CWU conference.
As a result of the above, we believe Labour is going into the election with the strongest commitments we have ever had from a political party on our industries and our members’ priorities and it is extremely important that branches and reps communicate this to members and make the case for a Labour government. A briefing outlining what is at stake is attached to this LTB and we are asking branches to share key messages with members, particularly on our industries and how a Labour government would support our industrial agenda.
Together with these policies, branches will also be aware that we have more CWU members and trade unionists standing as Labour candidates in target seats than we have ever had before, including:
- Tahir Ali (Birmingham Hall Green) – Engineering and Health & Safety Rep, Birmingham Mail Centre
- Gareth Eales (Northampton South) – Area Processing Rep, South Midlands Mail Centre
- Jennifer Forbes (Truro and Falmouth) – former BT engineer, branch Chair and member of the Young Workers Committee
- Hugh Gaffney (Coatbridge, Bellshill and Chryston) – former Parcelforce driver and rep, Scottish Political Secretary, elected as an MP in 2017
- Paul Joyce (Daventry) – Health & Safety Rep, South Midlands Postal
- Matt Kerr (Glasgow South West) – former postman, rep and Scottish Political Secretary
- Jackie Schneider (Wimbledon) – CWU member, teacher and NEU activist
- Chris Webb (Blackpool North and Cleveleys) – former postman and CWU activist in the North West Region
Working to support CWU members to be Labour candidates has been a major priority in our political work in recent years and it is important that members are aware of the number of their fellow members we have standing as Labour candidates and the work we have done to ensure it is a party that speaks for them. Having got our members selected it is vital that we get behind and support them and we would urge branches to get involved in local campaigning in the above seats wherever possible. Any queries on how to do so should be directed to the relevant Regional Secretary.
As is clear from the above, there is a huge amount at stake for the CWU in the general election and we will therefore be writing to members setting out what Labour is offering for our industries and in other areas over the next week. Any queries on the contents of this LTB should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.