by a postal worker
After months of not a lot happening, London Divisional Committee (LDC) of the postal workers' union CWU has launched the campaign to raise the London Weighting for postal workers to £4k. Balloting of all grades within the London Weighting area will happen during March, with the result announced at a rally on 1 May.
Other unions have already taken action over the £4k claim, and the intention of the campaign is to link with other public sector workers. The longer term aim is comparability with the Metropolitan Police who get more than £6k. House price inflation is forcing many essential workers out of London, and while politicians are willing to pay lip service to "key workers", it's up to the unions to force employers to pay a living wage.
While the case for increasing the London Weighting is justified, the timing of the ballot is unfortunate. Why LDC have waited this long to launch a campaign that was discussed a year ago has not been explained, but the fact that the postal leadership election is happening now has played into the hands of John Keggie, CWU general secretary.
Keggie has always been one to play off one region against another to bolster his power base, but now he openly accuses London of wanting to go it alone and pursue regional pay. Reps who spoke at the London mass meeting at the end of February categorically denied this, and say they haven't given up on the fight for increased basic pay for all.
LDC need to make it clear to other branches that London Weighting is only the first step in a campaign for a decent basic wage for postal workers nationwide. Housing costs are not just an issue for Londoners, as Anglia Division rightly pointed out recently. And pay is only part of the solution. We need to demand government and local authorities provide affordable, quality social housing for all workers!
London postal workers: mobilise for a huge yes vote!