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change making process 

At CWU South East Anglia Branch, we encourage our members to actively participate in politics and to join 
the effort in defending the rights of our workers

Working class or trade union voices in politics

Please click the link below to read an interview by the Newstatesman, with Gen Sec Dave Ward.


The General Election – GET THE VOTE OUT

We now have less 24 hours before one of the most important general elections many of us can remember. Tommorrow (8th June) everyone in this country will have a clear choice about the future - this time around it can't be said that all politicians are the same or that it doesn't matter who you vote for.

You will make up your own mind about how to vote this week. But there is no doubt in our minds that Labour is the only party that is standing up for working people in this election.

The CWU has secured commitments in Labour’s manifesto on our key campaigns including:

Alongside these things it has pledged significant extra funding for the NHS and care; to scrap tuition fees; a £10 minimum wage; to bring the services we rely on like rail, energy and water into public ownership and control; to halt the Tories deep cuts to school budgets; free school meals for all primary school children; and a new model of economic growth to benefit the many not the few.

Altogether, this amounts to the boldest platform this country has seen since the end of the second world war – and how we need it.

While the very richest in this country have been looked after, seven years of Conservative government have left a million people reliant on foodbanks; pushed the NHS to crisis point; cut funding for police, schools and care services year after year; and left a generation saddled with debt and without any prospect of a decent home in their lifetime.

In the fifth richest country in the world it doesn’t have to be like this.

Labour is now standing for fundamental change – so we would urge you: Please use your vote tomorrow and please use it to deliver a better future for this country.

With best wishes,


Dave Ward Tony Kearns

General Secretary Senior Deputy General Secretary


Since 1930 we have had 9 conservative government’s and
9 labour governments so who will make it 10 this time? 
It is your right to vote. There have been a number of wars fought to keep that right so please do not waste it.  
Polling day is fast approaching so it is make your mind up time.
The CWU supports the labour party and is affiliate to it.
Therefor they back Jeremy Corbin.
You might agree with this or you might not, but your choice is simple, do you want to work under Tories policy where the rich are getting richer while the poor get even poorer or worker friendly labour polices where we ALL share the benefits? Can we really trust a government that got rid of 19,000 Police officers, but then says they will put more officers on the streets? Can we believe that the NHS is safe in their hands but we still see Junior Doctors and Nurses having to visit food backs because the government refuses to pay them a decent wage. Who would have believed in 1947 when the welfare state was set up, that in the 21st century we would have soldiers living on the streets of our major city’s because the system has let them down.
 The turnout to vote in elections have been going steadily downhill since the highest was in 1950 at 83.6% down to 61.4% in 2005. A slight improvement has shown in 2010 at 65.1 % and 66.1% in 2015.
This is your chance to raise those stats higher, simple by using your democratic right to vote.  
Jim Webb,
CWU South East Anglia Branch 
Political officer.

Please click the download button above to see
comparison of the main political parties

Please see below the web address,s for the 4 mainstream parties and their manifestos for the up coming election.
 As you will be aware the CWU is backing the Labour party in the up coming election, however the final decision on which way to vote will, as always, rest with yourself. 

UKIP have yet to publish their manifesto! (run out of post it notes!!)

‘Take back control’? Do the Tories think we’re idiots? They created this mess
Dave Ward

With just over three weeks to go until the general election it’s obvious now, if it wasn’t before, that the country will be faced with a clear choice on 8 June. Don’t let anyone tell you all politicians are the same or that it doesn’t matter who you vote for.

I’ve been a trade union leader for 15 years. I worked at Royal Mail from the age of 16 and raised my family on a council estate in Lambeth, south London. I’ve spent my life not in politics and Westminster, but in workplaces across the country – and for members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), for which I’m the general secretary, this is the most important election I can remember.

Guardian Today: the headlines, the analysis, the debate - sent direct to you
 Read more
I’m struck by the contrast in the expectations I had when I started out and those of young people today. I listen not to the slogans casually being thrown around by Tory politicians who have never known what it’s like to have skin in the game, but what our members are saying around the country.

So while Theresa May stands in front of the television cameras to announce that the Conservatives will build a country that “works for everyone”, I wonder what she’d tell our young members who say they’ll have to wait for their parents to die to ever be able to afford their own home. Perhaps “strong and stable” wouldn’t really cut it with them.

Because let’s be clear about it, this is the country that her party has built in the past seven years: zero-hours contracts, food banks, in-work poverty. Things that were the exception a decade ago have become part of normal life. The headlines I last remember from 20 years ago about patients being stuck on trolleys in hospital corridors waiting to be seen are once again leading the news.

But this isn’t life for everyone in Britain today. The Tory mantra of “open for business” works out very nicely for some when it means little more than “up for sale”.


The houses our children can’t afford serve as hedge funds for the super-rich. The public services we pay hand over fist for end up in the hands of foreign governments. The companies putting frontline staff under ever greater pressure to work harder and faster for less just keep ramping up the handsome rewards for those at the top.

When the government that has presided over all of this – and has spent years telling us this is the necessary way of things – now promises it will “take back control” on our behalf, they must think we’re all idiots.

Only the Conservatives could have started the week announcing a “bold” move on employment rights, which actually meant the minimum wage would rise more slowly than planned by no less a revolutionary than George Osborne. Only the rightwing press could cover this as if May had turned into Che Guevara.

This week Labour announced an agenda for government that will deliver fundamental change – about time. So I make no apologies for backing the Labour party and Jeremy Corbyn in the election.

A national education service; 100,000 council homes a year; renationalising mail, rail and energy; £6bn extra for the NHS; investment to grow the economy outside London; a crackdown on a labour market that operates like the wild west. These are proposals that make me believe my children might have a better future than my generation – a sense of optimism few of us have had much reason to feel in recent years.

So one thing is clear from the pledges we’ve seen this week. We do face a definite choice between more of the same under the Tories and a positive vision for the future under Labour.

They say it’s the hope that kills you. I disagree – it’s the lack of it that proves terminal in the end. So on 8 June there is only one option – vote Labour for the country and our children’s future.


This Conference agrees that the announcement by Theresa May on 18th April of her intention to hold a General Election on 8th June presents our members and the people of the country with a stark choice. 

That is a choice between the continuation of the government’s austerity programme of spending cuts that have starved public services that our members rely on of funding. A programme that gives tax breaks to the very wealthiest whilst school children go hungry. A programme that asks parents to pay teachers’ wages and where hospital beds can’t be found for patients left waiting in corridors. A programme that denies an entire generation access to a decent home while council house-building has been abandoned. 

Or a choice for the alternative, a Labour Government, led by Jeremy Corbyn that delivers a new deal for workers and their families. An alternative that will launch a programme of council house building; introduce a £10 minimum wage; invest in infrastructure such as broadband; repeal the Trade Union Act; provide free school meals for primary school children; properly fund the NHS and social care; and overhaul employment rights to end exploitation at work. 

This conference agrees that it is time to end the attacks by the Conservatives and put an end to austerity in this country by agreeing to support the Labour Party to deliver a better and fairer society for all. 

This conference agrees that the CWU will immediately launch an all embracing campaign amongst our members to bring an end to the worst squeeze in living standards on record, to end the explosion of insecure employment and growing levels of in-work poverty and to campaign for the party that will ensure no one and no community is left behind. 

We need to campaign for the party that will ensure that a Brexit settlement delivers for everyone and is not the race to the bottom that the Tories will deliver. 

It is time for us to take back control, of our National Health Service, of care for our elderly, of an education for our children and for jobs and wages that allow people to live with dignity. 

The pressure our members face in their workplaces, insecure employment, attacks on pensions, excessive workload or performance management demands that we need a new political settlement in this country. 

This Conference agrees that the CWU will support only the Labour Party to deliver this fundamental change for all our futures. 

Accordingly this Conference instructs the NEC to support CWU members and other trade unionists as candidates; co-ordinate Branches and Regions to campaign in target seats; work with other affiliated unions; and use all of our communications channels to make the case to CWU members and the public to vote for a Labour government. 

The urgency of the situation determines that this campaign begins immediately following the close of CWU General Conference 2017. 

Workers Memorial Day 28th April

Workers’ Memorial Day Workers’ Memorial Day commemorates the thousands of people who have died, been seriously injured or disabled, or been made ill through their work.
It began in Canada in 1984 and is a national day in 19 countries. Since 1989, trade unions around the world have organised events on and around 28 April. Workers’ Memorial Day has been informally recognised in the UK since 1992 but not until 2010 was it officially recognised by the Government. The day is intended to be a rallying cry to ‘remember the dead and fight for the living’.
While the UK has one of the best health and safety records in the world, official figures show there is much more to be done to reduce casualties. During 2015/16 144 people were fatally injured at work, 30.4 million working days were lost from a work-related illness and workplace injury, 1.3 million people were suffering from a work-related illness, 2,515 mesothelomia deaths were due to past asbestos exposures, £14.1 billion is the estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions.
The current legislative and enforcement framework is failing to protect workers it should be strengthened, not made weaker

Memorial for Workers
I write these words of honor, for those who gave their lives; And for their families, their husbands and their wives. For those whose lives were spent, doing what they must Working for a living like every one of us. Their time cut short, by things that didn’t have to be; To make the workplace safer, for people l ike you and me. To make sure their stories will never go untold; To always keep their memories from ever growing cold. We must remember the price they all had to pay; When we honor the men and women on Workers Memorial Day. 
Mike Baird Lodge 21, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers

Labour exploitation tops modern slavery referrals

The number of people reported as potential victims of slavery and human trafficking in the UK has more than doubled in the past three years, with ‘labour exploitation’ now the largest single reason for reported abuse. Statistics released by the National Crime Agency (NCA) on 29 March show there were 3,805 people referred for help in 2016 - up from 1,745 people in 2013. NCA notes: “The most common exploitation type recorded for potential victims exploited as an adult was labour exploitation, which also includes criminal exploitation.” It adds that this was also the case for those first exploited as a minor, with this labour exploitation category including “criminal exploitation, such as cannabis cultivation.” Albanian, UK and Vietnamese nationals were the most commonly reported potential victims of modern slavery. Recent Home Office estimates suggest there are between 10,000 and 13,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK. Sarah Newton, minister for vulnerability, safeguarding and countering extremism, said: “Modern slavery is a barbaric crime which destroys the lives of some of the most vulnerable in our society. This government has taken world-leading action to tackle it, giving law enforcement agencies the tools they need, toughening up sentences, increasing support for victims and encouraging more to come forward.” But TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, commenting on the 5 April publication of a report by the joint parliamentary committee on human rights, which proposes improvements to legislation and enforcement to strengthen protection against abuses of workers’ human rights, said: “Slavery and abuse of working people’s rights should not be tolerated, whether it’s in Britain or abroad. We need stronger laws and better enforcement to crack down on it.”

Ÿ TUC news release. Joint Committee on Human Rights news release and report, 5 April 2017. National Crime Agency statistics and modern slavery webpages. BBC News Online. Morning Star.

The decisions made within our core industries that may affect workers’ rights are not simply made by the employer, but by governments and regulators. We must be active politically to defend our members’ interests at work, whether it is calling for investment in broadband or campaigning about the Post Office. There any many ways to take active part in politics including joining the Labour Party or by becoming an MP or a councillor. Visit CWU South East Anglia Branch in Chelmsford and get a voice through political campaigning and by becoming active in the union. We can also help improve the education and health and safety sectors with your support. 

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The CWU's political work

CWU South East Anglia Branch as a trade union provides a collective political voice to 190,000 employed people. As a political representative of employees in the communications industry, we work on important issues such as the housing crisis, low pay, and insecure employment.

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CWU South East Anglia Branch in Chelmsford helps protect 
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