By a north London postal worker
Postal workers in London are gearing up for a fight with Royal Mail over the pitifully low level of their London Weighting allowance.
The campaign was launched formally months ago, when local government workers and teachers took strike action to support their £4k London Weighting claim.
The leadership of the postal workers' union, the Communication Workers Union, say they are in favour of getting an increase in Weighting, but they won't authorise a ballot. So what should we do? Ask management nicely?
The only way to get £4k or anything like it is through industrial action.
And postal workers in London should see winning an increase in Weighting as the springboard for a substantial no-strings pay increase for all postal workers.
The campaign launch coincides with Dave Ward's electoral challenge to John Keggie, the current postal leader.
Keggie, desperately unpopular among activists for his record of sell-outs, is trying to link ex London divisional rep Ward's electoral bid to the London Weighting campaign. All postal workers must reject Keggie's divide and rule tactics, and London must make it clear to all branches that our fight is not a move towards regional pay, but the first step in a fightback on pay for the whole union.
Furthermore, we need to ensure that the campaign is controlled by the rank and file. We can't afford a dispute where distant officials run the show, as with the FBU dispute. And we must remember that the London Weighting claim can only go so far in addressing members' hardship. Today, even £50k household income isn't enough for a mortgage in the capital. We need a political campaign for decent, affordable social housing for all workers.