Postal workers have voted 64%-36% to accept the deal negotiated by CWU leaders with Royal Mail bosses on 12 October. The deal gives a small pay rise conditional on a lot of "flexibility", but the vote in favour was predictable after the CWU leadership had called off all action for a month before putting the deal to the vote.
The figures: 51,260 voted yes; 28,894 no; there were 156 spoiled papers. 80,310 members returned ballot papers, out of 126,035 eligible.
The most significant feature of the ballot was the "vote no" campaign by "CWU Rank and File", a new left-wing grouping on the postal side of the union. Until now almost all left-wing or rank-and-file organising has been on the telecom side of the union.
"CWU Rank and File" has many tasks ahead of it. The "flexibility" is to be implemented locally, and there will be struggles over that. And around next January there will be another ballot on a deal on pensions.
The CWU leadership pushed it as a plus that pensions were kept separate from the deal on pay and "flexibility", just voted on. Actually, it is a minus. The CWU has agreed a framework for the pensions negotiations which concedes a great deal, and will be hard-pressed to organise new industrial action if Royal Mail pushes a bad bargain in that framework.