Socialist Worker

Fighting for jobs and opposing racism at Royal Mail

by Lee Barron, secretary of Midlands Communication Workers Union
Issue No. 2249

Hundreds of people from across the Midlands are set to join with trade unionists on Saturday 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. While there is an agreement not to close any more centres this year, many fear that the company will use the tenth anniversary of the Stoke site to walk away.


Over the past decade Royal Mail have slashed services in the area. So far nearly 1,000 jobs have gone.

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

For too 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. Assemble 1pm, Cannon Place, Hanley ST1 4EP

Management culture

Two stories this week illustrate the brutal management culture at Royal Mail, and why the CWU union is right to vigorously defend its members.

In Staffordshire, bosses have suspended a postal worker who clung to the bonnet of her work van for nearly a mile as a thief was driving it.

The company says she will likely lose her job because she left her keys in the ignition for a few seconds to pick up a pen she had dropped while making a delivery.

Supporters are urging residents to write letters of protest to Royal Mail.

Meanwhile, a postal worker from Hampshire who was sacked for poor attendance after 17 years has won £60,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

Ian Jennens was dismissed after bosses warned him about absences for two work related injuries.

An employment tribunal upheld his claim for unfair dismissal, and ruled neither of the two accidents should have counted towards his absence record.

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Article information

Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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