Socialist Worker

Post: Stamp on this blackmail

Issue No. 1736

Post Office bosses are threatening to privatise 3,500 jobs unless unofficial strikes stop. This blackmailing ultimatum comes in a letter from Post Office managing director David Morphey. He says that unless the strikes stop the Cash Handling and Distribution function, with its 3,500 workers, could be handed over to Securicor.

Morphey says, 'The crunch point is fast approaching. Step back from the brink before it is too late.' This outrageous threat comes as a huge shake-up is threatened in the post. The government has appointed a postal regulator to increase competition. Graham Corbett, chairman of PostComm, has now made it clear that his agenda is a huge increase in work going to private firms.

He told the Independent this week that hundreds of competitors to the Post Office will be licensed. The process could begin from 26 March. The CWU union now has to make a choice. Either it can back off in the face of these challenges and accept further privatisation, worse conditions and speed-ups, or it can fight.

CWU leaders must not be allowed to run away from the battle. Every CWU member must demand a national fight against these assaults.


Workers at the Birch Park post office depot in York won reinstatement for a suspended colleague with a magnificent 24-hour walkout. The worker was suspended on Thursday for refusing to carry out locking-up duties that have always been a management responsibility. This was only the latest in a long line of arrogant and bullying actions by management under the new Consignia regime.

As soon as word went round, the entire workforce at the depot walked out, shutting down the depot all through Thursday. Following negotiations by their CWU reps, workers voted at a mass meeting early on Friday morning. The deal included reinstatement of the suspended worker, no victimisation, and promises to investigate and respond to other grievances.


Over 80 staff at Wallasey delivery office in north west England walked out on Friday of last week in a dispute over reducing working hours. Management deny they made a written agreement after workers struck over the issue two weeks ago.

Talks between the CWU union and management are due to take place later this week. Workers have requested a ballot for further industrial action.

Over 30 postal workers at Crouch End sorting office in north London walked out on Thursday of last week for the fifth time in three weeks in a dispute over workloads. Crouch End is a small office that has been chosen to implement Royal Mail's job cutting plans, the Way Forward.

The result of the Royal Mail vote on the 3.2 percent pay offer was expected this week. There has been substantial opposition from many branches.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Sat 24 Feb 2001, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1736
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.