ABOUT 200 people came to a public meeting last week to build the campaign to keep NDO postal sorting office open. Royal Mail management wants to close the north London office and move the work to Greenford in Middlesex. The closure would mean 1,300 jobs taken out of Islington. The CWU union branch at NDO is set to start a strike ballot and also plans a demonstration in May.
Pete Donaghy, the CWU branch secretary at the office, told the meeting, "This job transfer will be disastrous for the very many people who cannot follow the work. "There are single parents who work shifts they can only just manage now. It is ridiculous to think they can go to Greenford." Janine Booth, the Socialist Alliance prospective parliamentary candidate for the area, was one of the speakers.
She said, "Jobs are not being lost-they are being wilfully destroyed by people who hold public office. It is a disgrace the local MP Chris Smith is not here." Jeremy Corbyn, the left wing Labour MP for Islington North, said, "Alan Johnson, now a minister but previously the head of the CWU, wrote to me saying that the NDO question was an 'operational decision', and that the government would not get involved. That's just not acceptable."
Dave Ward, the CWU's London divisional rep, said that the Post Office had to be made to stick to its original policy. This was for an investment of 250 million to upgrade and modernise the existing offices. In the discussion there were speeches from a local firefighter, a tube worker, teachers, campaigners over the local park closure, and people against Islington council cuts.
- Send messages of support to CWU North/Northwest London Branch, Room C102, North London Mail Centre, 5-8 Almeida Street, Islington, London N11 1AA. Phone 020 7239 3593. Fax 020 7239 3570.
- POSTAL WORKERS at the East London Mail Centre in Whitechapel suspended an official strike over new working practices due for Monday this week, but they could be out next week.
- SHORT unofficial strikes took place in Streatham and Willesden in London last week.
- POSTAL WORKERS in Watford were set to strike on Friday and Saturday.