Socialist Worker

CWU union prepares fight for jobs and against racism in Stoke

by Lee Barron, secretary of Midlands Communication Workers Union
Issue No. 2248

Hundreds of people from across the Midlands are set to join with trade unionists on Saturday of next week as part of a fight for jobs in Stoke on Trent.

The protest is in response to a threat by Royal Mail to close the customer service centre in the city.

The centre, which employs 400 workers, was opened nine years ago with Royal Mail receiving a public subsidy to build it.

In return the company gave a commitment to stay at the site for a minimum of ten years.

Royal Mail is currently “reviewing” its customer service centres nationally. Whilst there is an agreement not to close any more centres this year, many fear that the company will use the 10th anniversary of the Stoke site in 2012 to walk away.

Over the past decade Royal Mail have slashed jobs in the area by closing the mail centre, the distribution centre and the inward sorting operation. So far nearly 1,000 jobs have gone.

You have to ask if Royal Mail have a vendetta against Stoke, which already has over 10 percent unemployment compared to the national average of 7.9 percent.

As well demanding a fight for jobs the demonstration is also about communities standing together.

For to long the far right have used job losses, insecurity and the vacuum created by people not seeing Labour stand up for them as an opportunity to win electoral support in the area.

This demonstration is our opportunity to break the link the far right uses against us—and reclaim Stoke for working people and a united labour movement.

Protest on Saturday 30 April. Assembly 1pm, Cannon Place, Hanley ST1 4EP

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Article information

Thu 21 Apr 2011, 11:27 BST
Issue No. 2248
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