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CWU members break their own record for ‘gate meetings’ in support for new strike ballot

POSTAL workers “stood with their union” today after hundreds of “gate meetings” took place at Royal Mail branches in support of a new strike ballot.

More than 800 gate meetings of Communication and Workers Union (CWU) members took place across the country as part of a national demonstration in support of a new ballot for strike action over job conditions, which looks set to be sent out to members on March 3.

The Morning Star understands that the number of gate meetings is unprecedented in the CWU’s history.

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner showed his enthusiasm for the support, tweeting to the union: “Fantastic! This is real, practical, in-your-face trade unionism.

“It’s what our movement was built on.”

Last year, workers delivered a national strike ballot that showed more than 95 per cent favoured strike action.

The ballot result far surpassed the legal threshold imposed by the 2016 Trade Union Act.

However, Royal Mail bosses took the CWU to the High Court in November 2019, which ruled that the union’s ballot campaign had breached industrial relations law.

As a result, the CWU has been forced to reballot its national membership of over 110,000 Royal Mail workers.

Earlier this month, Royal Mail announced that it wished to negotiate with the CWU to call off the strike. Part of its proposals included a new three-year pay deal.

But the union hit back at Royal Mail’s offer, pointing out that the company released a press statement minutes after a meeting between management and workers’ representatives that the union argued undermined the talks.

The CWU claims that Royal Mail is attempting to undermine further attempts to resolve the dispute by mixing up pay negotiations with terms and conditions, and accused bosses of undermining the 2018 Four Pillars Agreement, which include a decent pension and a 35-hour working week.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward told the Morning Star: “Today our union held over 800 gate meetings across every corner of the UK.

“I am very proud of the thousands of members who have once again stood with their union.

“The ballot papers will land at members home addresses next week and I am 100 per cent confident we will once again deliver a massive Yes vote.”

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