Socialist Worker

Labour pushes post privatisation

Issue No. 2153

The Labour government is pushing ahead with privatisation in Royal Mail.

They snuck the first stage of the bill through the House of Commons last Thursday.

The government is determined to privatise Royal Mail by selling off a stake in the firm to a private provider, potentially the Dutch firm TNT.

A poll released by the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) last week suggested that three quarters of people in Britain are against the government’s proposals.

In a symbolic event Lord Mandelson’s local post office shut last week, despite the business secretary’s promise not to back any more closures.

Mandelson has of course never been seen at the doomed branch, just minutes away from his £2.5 million home.

Up and down the country there are protests against the privatisation plan.

For instance, over 80 members of the CWU and supporters marched through Southampton last week, urging shoppers to back their campaign to “keep the post public”.

Postal workers from 160 workplaces in the London area are being balloted for strike action over cuts.

The ballot closes next Monday – the same day the government could take the privatisation bill to its second reading. Raising the level of protest to national industrial action could stop the bill becoming law.

Workers in Bolton protested last weekend against a proposal to close their mail centre.

The closure would mean the loss of 400 jobs and force the remaining workers to be moved elsewhere.

Workers marched for over three hours – to show how far the workers not losing their jobs would have to travel to get to work.

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Tue 26 May 2009, 18:19 BST
Issue No. 2153
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