Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Committee Meeting 21st November 2017
Four Pillars Campaign
Constituency Labour Party branches throughout the branch have started to support the campaign by carrying the CWU motion calling on the Party, CLP’s, and Councillors to support their Postal workers. (copy attached)
East of England Labour Party Conference 2017
Conference took place this year in Huntingdon on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November, I attended on behalf of the branch and the CWU Eastern Region.
This year’s conference was the best attended ever with over 250 delegates and 50 of the 59 CLP’s in the East attending.
On Saturday morning we heard from Iain McNicol General Secretary of the Labour Party and Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities, and Local Government / National Campaign Co – Ordinator. Both spoke on the hard work put into the General Election by Trade Unions and activists.
I then attended a workshop with Andrew Gwynne on Local Government.
The next session of conference was Resolutions there were five on the pad to be heard, the CWU motion was first on the pad, Paul Moffat CWU Regional Secretary moved the motion and the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) seconded it, I spoke from the floor in debate. The motion was carried unanimously
The next motion was on Fire and Rescue Cuts in the Eastern Region moved by FBU Seconded by CWU this was carried unanimously
Resolution 3 Sector Pay Cap Unison and GMB was carried unanimously
Resolution 4 Regional Schools Commissioner moved by Broadlands CLP was carried unanimously
Resolution 5 Police and Crime Commissioner Enhanced Responsibility moved by Hertfordshire CLP was carried unanimously
After Lunch we had the main event of the conference Jeremy Corbyn Leader of the Party addressed conference, he paid tribute to the hard work carried out by all the activists in the East of England which had paid off as we gained three MP’s in the East.
Sunday started with a speech by Emily Thornberry Shadow Foreign Secretary and Alex Mayer MEP on Brexit and Beyond.
We then had a presentation on Labour Party Democracy which is a review underway within the Party, I attend a workshop on The Way We Work which looked at how the Unions and CLP’s can work together to strengthen links.
The last meeting of the CLP was held on Friday 27th October, and I updated the meeting on our campaign and moved our motion which was carried unanimously.
South West Norfolk CLP
Over the last month I have had contact with SWN CLP, they cover Swaffham and Downham Market, they are keen to support the Four Pillars Campaign and have carried two motions to do just that. I am arranging to speak at one of their meetings in the New Year.
Local Elections May 2018
Peterborough has selected its candidates for the Local Council Elections for May 2018 at the time of writing I don’t have the full list but once I have it I will circulate it.
Peterborough Trades Union Council
The last meeting was held on Thursday 16th November, I updated the meeting on the Four Pillars Campaign.
Planning for PTUC Women’s Festival next year is well underway it has been confirmed that the Play WE Are Lions Mr Manager has been booked this is a play about the Grunwick dispute, this will be at the Broadway Theatre tickets are £8.
Branch Political Officer
CWU motion to Eastern Regional Labour Party Conference
Conference notes that on 3rd October 2017 the CWU announced an 89% Yes vote, on a 74% turnout, for strike action in Royal Mail in the first national dispute since privatisation.
Postal workers in Royal Mail are coming under increasing pressure to work harder and faster for less with cuts to their pension entitlements, pay freezes and attempts from Royal Mail to adopt the insecure employment models that characterise much of the postal industry today.
Following an overwhelming ballot result, Conference believes Royal Mail should have listened to its staff and recognised the need to shift its position, instead of taking them to court to secure an injunction to delay strike action.
Conference also believes Royal Mail should never have been privatised. Alongside the increasing pressure on staff and their terms and conditions, the public are seeing price increases, cuts to services and asset stripping with over £200m worth of property having been sold off.
This is the familiar story of privatisation – in just three and a half years Royal Mail has paid out over £620m in dividends to private shareholders, just under £500,000 every day. Last year alone Royal Mail’s CEO saw her pay packet increase by 23%
Conference believes Royal Mail is an important public service and part of our national infrastructure that should be re-nationalised by a Labour government and brought back together with the Post Office in public ownership at the earliest opportunity.
1. expresses solidarity with and gives full backing to postal workers and the CWU in their dispute with Royal Mail;
2. calls upon all Eastern Region CLPs to mobilise support for future picket lines and contact local CWU branches to express solidarity in the dispute; and
3. asks all Eastern Region Labour MPs, MEPs and councillors to make clear statements in support of CWU members in Royal Mail.