Angry postal and telecoms workers are trying to cut their union’s ties to Labour, which could blow a £500,000 hole in the cash-strapped party’s finances.
Several motions to the Communications Workers Union (CWU) conference in Bournemouth have called for a review of the 200,000-strong group’s links with Labour and a reduction in affiliation fees. These fees give trade unions certain rights within the party, such as selecting members of the powerful National Executive Committee.
Postal workers do not believe that Labour fought hard enough to prevent the privatisation of Royal Mail in late 2013, which some MPs have argued was sold for up to £1bn less than its correct value. Lord Mandelson, as Business Secretary under Gordon Brown, also annoyed them by proposing the part-privatisation of the five-century-old service before abandoning the idea in 2009.