Socialist Worker

Hundreds of postal workers march in Coventry

by Gary Smith, Coventry CWU member
Issue No. 2045

On the march in Coventry last Saturday (Pic: Pete Jackson)

On the march in Coventry last Saturday (Pic: Pete Jackson)

Hundreds of postal workers and their supporters marched through Coventry last Saturday to save the mail centre. Royal Mail wants to close the Bishop Street operation and move the mail centre to Northampton.

All mail from our area would be sent to Northampton, and then returned to Coventry. Some 500 jobs are threatened by this closure.

Post workers from as far away as Glasgow and Newcastle joined the demonstration, which received huge support as it marched through the city centre.

The protest has given a lift to the campaign to save the mail centre, and to the Coventry CWU members who saw the support we have got around the country.

What they said

John Woodhouse, Newcastle branch secretary

“We’re lending our support to our colleagues in Coventry because it matters to every postal worker. We have had proposals to shift our work to Manchester. We’re all under the same threats.”

Jim McKechnie, Glasgow and district amal branch secretary

“What happens here could happen to us tomorrow. The way the government is treating us is disgusting. When you think about the money our union is putting into the Labour Party, they’re meant to be stopping privatisation. A lot of people have withdrawn from the political levy.”

Gareth Eales, acting branch secretary, Northampton CWU

“Royal Mail plans to build a new mail centre in Northampton. We’ve been campaigning for a new mail centre for three years, but never did we ask for it to be at Coventry’s expense.”

Shaikh, Birmingham area distribution rep

“We’re here to support our sister branch in Coventry. We’re here to help them save their office. Coventry has lost a lot of industry, we can’t afford to lose the mail centre.”

Paul Trehearne, Gloucester branch secretary

“Royal Mail can’t be allowed to pick off mail centres one by one. The plans to close Coventry and Gloucester have no logical basis and they are paying little regard to the effect on people’s lives. I say to Blair, you own the service, you are the only shareholder. You can’t be seen to allow it to be flogged off – the government can’t be allowed to wash its hands of Royal Mail.”

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Article information

Sat 7 Apr 2007, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2045
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