Socialist Worker

Post bosses are running scared

by Mark Dolan CWU union area delivery rep, north London
Issue No. 2170

Postal workers are facing a barrage of abuse from our bosses and the media because we dare to stand up for our jobs, our union, and for the public service that we provide.

Newspaper columnists attack us for so-called “Spanish practices”, saying we’re lazy and skive off work.

These are people who wouldn’t dream of getting up for work at 4am and taking home pay of less than £300 a week.

Disgracefully, they are being backed all the way by Labour ministers, who call us an “obstacle” to change.

The venom that is spewing out shows our regional strikes have been incredibly effective

A yes vote in the national strike ballot currently taking place could completely shut down postal services in Britain.

Royal Mail bosses say that the volume of mail has shrunk by

10 percent, and so we must accept the slashing of thousands of jobs and changes to conditions.

This is nonsense. Royal Mail is fiddling the figures and refuses any independent verification.

When the union did its own audit we found that the amount of weight and post each worker delivers is actually going up.

It’s not difficult to see why. The growth in internet shopping means extra work for us.

If you buy from eBay or Amazon, or rent from Lovefilm, we deliver it. If you’ve noticed more junk mail, it’s because your postman or postwoman is forced to put it through your door.

Despite all the talk of private competition, the reality is that only Royal Mail does the “final mile” to your house.

The private firms are only interested in profitable bulk mail, while forcing us to deliver it at a loss.

Tony Blair’s government engineered this when it decided to “liberalise” postal services.

Since then Gordon Brown and Peter Mandelson have done everything they can to further the cause of privatisation.

But what of these “Spanish practices” the press talk about?

Perhaps they mean being bullied by managers to work overtime for no extra pay?

Or what about working through your meal breaks because it’s the only way you can finish your delivery round?

Or taking out bags that are over the agreed weights and giving yourself a lifelong injury?

Surely the real “Spanish practice” is the £3 million a year handed over to Royal Mail boss Adam Crozier—or maybe it’s the millions he gets on top of that in bonuses.

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