Retired Members and Industrial Action / Triple Lock Update

Retired Members and Industrial Action

Our Post Office members have been involved in a dispute with the employer for sometime now and have recently taken their second round of industrial action and as we publish this article we are waiting for the result of the ballots taking place involving our Postal and Financial Services members. The ballot of our members working for the Royal Mail Group over pay has begun this week. Presuming these ballots all return the required Yes vote and the required percentage turn out then we could be facing an unprecedented level of industrial action involving CWU members in almost every business where we have members.

So the question arises, what can retired members do to assist our working members. There are a number of things we can do. The simplest being to visit a picket line either near where you live or where you used to work and ask them if there is anything you can do to assist them. Some of our retired members have already visited Post Office picket lines and posted photos on Facebook. Another idea is write to your MP, whatever party they might represent, to express your support for the workers and let them know that if they are not supporting them (most won’t be) then that will affect your vote in the next election. Once a dispute starts Branches and Regions might need help answering phones, printing leaflets and handing them out etc. Local papers are important and they are always looking for news. Letters to local papers, in support of our members, is always a good idea as are letters to the national media. The Union is bound to come in for criticism on radio phone in programs but a few words of support from retired members supporting their colleagues on strike always goes down well. Remember to prepare what you intend to say before ringing the station and be prepared for any questions. Most talk show hosts won’t be sympathetic so bear that in mind.

Triple Lock Increase Yes or No

The government has announced that it intends to restore the Triple Lock next year as the mechanism by which the State Pension (SP) is increased. This year pensioners were disappointed to be told that the Triple Lock would be reduced to the Double Lock. In other words, whereas the Triple Lock ensured the SP was increased by either 2.5%, the rise in average earnings or the rate of inflation, whichever was highest the government ditched the commitment to include the average earnings element, arguing that because of the economic crisis emanating from the Covid Crisis they could not afford it. This led to an outcry from pensioners organisations particularly as they had promised to maintain it in their General Election manifesto. If they keep their promise this year it could result in an increase to the SP of over 10%.

However, given the track record of this government and in particular Boris Johnson, pensioners should not count their ‘chickens before they hatch’. The one issue that might encourage the government and in particular Conservative MPs in marginal constituencies to keep their promise is the need to secure a strong vote from the over 50s. The over 50s and in particular those over 65 vote overwhelmingly for the Conservatives. Given their standing in the polls and the recent by-election results it might make them think twice about upsetting that section of the electorate that supports them most in General Elections.