Santa hat protest for Royal Mail workforce
POSTAL workers were urged to go into battle once more to defeat the privatisation of Royal Mail.
Union members were told last night that they had beaten previous attempts by Labour and the Conservatives to sell off the service, and they could win again.
Mark Baulch of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) national executive told a Plymouth meeting that private competitors were already cherry-picking the most profitable services.
He warned that privatisation would see prices rise and services decline for the public, and poorer wages and working conditions for employees.
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The meeting was part of a nationwide day of action which saw about 150 postal workers at the Plymouth Mail Centre on Breakwater Road in Plymstock don red Santa hats.
The union is angry that posties already deliver piles of rivals' mail – and are calling for Ofcom to step in.
Chris Webb, the CWU divisional representative, said: "It was fantastic. Everyone who was working came out and we received total support. It was uplifting to see.
"We are going to fight privatisation. Yesterday was the busiest day for postal workers and the fact that everyone came out during their break, when they could have just had a cup of tea instead, goes to show the strength of feeling."
Later Mr Baulch told the evening meeting at Home Park that the six-day delivery service and the one-price-goes-anywhere guarantee were under threat.
He rejected claims that email was killing the postal business, saying: "Companies like TNT and UKMail would not be interested if there wasn't a buck to be made."
Mr Baulch said that although the parliamentary process was complete, the fight was not over.
Tony Staunton, secretary of the Plymouth Trades Council, called for a general strike: "When you fight, you can win," he said.
Labour city councillor Chris Penberthy said the postal service was a lifeline for those not on the internet.
Kevin Beazer, CWU regional secretary, said the unions had to go back and start running the Labour Party again.
He attacked some Labour MPs in the region who he said had failed to support the postal workers.