Fight royal mail privatisation. For common ownership with workers' control.
29th September 2013Plaid Cymru is the first party in Wales to suggest that in the event of Royal Mail privatisation, Wales should go a different way. However while opposed to Con-Dem outright privatisation, the vision put forward by Leanne Wood stops short of full public ownership in the sense that a socialist would understand it.
What she is putting forward is creating an arms-length company that would run mail services in Wales by permission of the Welsh Government, something similar to the position with Cardiff Wales Airport. It is also similar to councils hiving off services to arms-length trusts/companies. Council unions oppose such half steps to privatisation because the drive for profitability inevitably leads to poorer terms and conditions for the workforce and a poorer, more expensive, service to the public.
Socialists and trade unionists in Wales must give all our support to the CWU in their battle to defeat the privatisation of the Royal Mail. This battle has not been fought yet and we shouldn't accept it as lost, especially if CWU members were to link this battle with the struggles of other trade unionists who are also fighting the Con-Dems, such as the FBU who took strike action this week. Co-ordinated action, particularly in the form of a 24 hour general strike would shake this weak and divided coalition and could be an important step to not only defeating Royal Mail privatisation but bringing them down.
We need to fight privatisation and fight to win but should privatisation go ahead, we should demand that the Welsh Government bring the Welsh postal service into public ownership but under democratic public control, which means putting those who understand the service best, workers and trade unionists that deliver it and the public that use it, in charge. This could be a beacon to encourage the fight for re-nationalisation in England as well.