On the same day that Royal Mail announced the impending closure of mail centres at Oxford and Reading, it said that the Gloucester mail centre would remain open – for the next two years.
“Like Oxford, we were told last year that our building was not fit for purpose and we would have to close,” said Paul Trehearne, CWU union branch secretary in Gloucester.
“Now suddenly according to Royal Mail our building is fine, and we are staying open for the time being.
“We might have won a reprieve, but we are not going to be played off against our fellow workers at Oxford.
“More than that, we will gladly give Oxford whatever support they need in their campaign to save their mail centre.
“The campaign we ran in Gloucester aimed to explain to the public how their public services would suffer if the mail centre was closed.
“We also pointed out that driving mail hundreds of miles back and forward unnecessarily would be bad for the environment and cause congestion.
“As far as I’m concerned, saving the mail centres is part of the national fight – and it’s one that we have to win.”
Postal workers in north, east and south east London are set to strike on Saturday of this week against attempts by their management to cut overtime to delivery staff.
The dispute centres on payments for delivering “belateds” – mail that has not been delivered because of regular staff being away or off sick.
Managers want to cut the payment for doing the extra delivery round to the equivalent of just six hours pay, instead of the usual eight hours.
London CWU reps were due to meet as Socialist Worker went to press to decide if they will take an additional day’s strike on Monday of next week.
Mark Dolan, the CWU’s area delivery rep for north London, told Socialist Worker, “Most of London is going to be out this Saturday following very large votes for strike action.
“Many of our members depend on the ability to earn overtime to supplement the low basic rate of pay.”