Socialist Worker

Postal Workers

Issue No. 1912

THE DIRECTOR in charge of stamping out bullying and harassment at Royal Mail has herself been investigated for bullying, according to the Times newspaper.

Satya Kartara was questioned about bullying a member of her staff after an official complaint was made. But Royal Mail said that the inquiry, which was conducted by another executive at the organisation, did not uphold the complaint.

Kartara, Royal Mail’s head of diversity, was appointed to head an anti-bullying initiative early last year. She joined the group from Bhs, where she was “director of change”.

The news comes as Royal Mail is gearing up for a further assault on the national network of 600 large high street branches (Crown Offices). Reports suggest they could be sold off, converted into shops or even closed under a review being conducted by Royal Mail.

The future of Parcelforce is also unclear. Consultants drafted in to advise Royal Mail on strategy are believed to have suggested its closure.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) national officer Andy Furey said, “No proposals have been put to the union yet, but what I can say without a moment’s hesitation is that this union would resist the decimation of the Crown Office network by all means possible.”

Whatever management’s long term intentions, a very real programme of closures is already in operation.

Crown Offices earmarked for franchise currently include Greenwich, Cannon Street (Bristol), Weston-Super-Mare, Taunton, Haverfordwest, Ruislip, Chippenham, Withington (Manchester), Govan (Glasgow), Frome, Gosport, Shirley (Southampton), Newport (Isle of Wight) and Enfield Wash.

London’s Notting Hill branch has been earmarked for outright closure.

In addition to the agitation over the closures of Crown Offices, there is also growing anger and protests over the current closure programme for smaller sub post offices.

More than 3,000 out of 16,000 sub post office branches are being shut, and more are threatened.

The CWU has already warned the government that, unless there is a pledge in Labour’s election manifesto to keep Royal Mail in full public ownership, it will cut off all money to the party.

More closure programmes will only lead to more anger against the government.

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Sat 31 Jul 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1912
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