CPSU An Post members have voted by a significant majority not to join the CWU but to remain in the CPSU. This decision went against the wishes of the CPSU general secretary, the CWU general secretary and the management of An Post who all encouraged the move.
The CPSU Executive meets at the end of January to make the final decision and is expected by the An Post membership to honour their democratic decision.
Recent changes in the terms and conditions of the CPSU clerical grade workers brought their jobs into line with the CWU clerical grade. From this position it was then argued by An Post management and leading officials in the CWU and CPSU that the workforce would be better served by being in the one union and proposed that this would be the CWU.
Eoin Roynane, CPSU general secretary, proposed that the union executive would make the decision. Members called for the right to ballot on the issue and at a meeting of 120, the general secretary was forced to back down and a ballot was agreed.
Socialist Party members in the An Post CPSU branch, along with other activists, campaigned against a move to the CWU. These activists argued that the CPSU has played a more progressive role fighting austerity and defending public sector workers’ interests. In An Post the CPSU members have consistently challenged and opposed the management’s attacks on terms and conditions.
The CPSU opposes social partnership and has openly challenged ICTU’s lack of fight against the onslaught on jobs, wages and conditions. If the An Post branch left the CPSU, this would damage the union and this opposition, which urgently needs to be built if austerity is to be stopped. The leadership of the CWU is rooted in a “social partnership” ideology and all too easily accepts An Post management’s agenda. In our opinion the CWU leadership would not tolerate the “bottom up” democratic traditions and militancy of the An Post CPSU members.
Steve Fitzpatrick, CWU general secretary has written a letter attacking Socialist Party members and made accusations that there was a biased ballot. This we refute and stand over the process by which the members decided to stay in the CPSU. This letter is a clear attempt to undermine the result of the ballot.
The CPSU must respond strongly by continuing to organise as a members led branch based on traditional trade union principles with the aim of recruiting new clerical staff to a union branch that is committed to militant opposition to the anti-workforce agenda of the An Post management.
CPSU members in An Post should only accept one outcome – that the executive endorses their decision to stay in the CPSU and prepare themselves to oppose any manoevres by the CWU leadership or An Post management to undermine this decision.