THE POST Office has announced it is going to privatise another major section. Management wants to hand over the CHD cash handling and distribution business to Securicor. The move will affect 3,000 workers. Around 200 CHD staff at Canning Town in east London walked out in protest on Monday after the plans were unveiled.
The privatisation decision comes just days after union leaders were celebrating a 'great success' with a deal over the outsourcing of the Romec cleaning and maintenance division. Activists had warned that the deal left the door open for more privatisation.
CWU union assistant secretary Andy Furey rightly says the latest plan is 'blatant privatisation and industrial vandalism'. It is time for the union leaders to start serious resistance. If the deal goes through Securicor will grab a ten-year contract that could be worth up to £1 billion in turnover.
CHD supplies money and valuable stock such as stamps to all 17,500 post office branches in Britain. The bosses' crazy logic is that because they are about to slaughter 3,000 urban post offices there will be less work to do. Therefore it can be handed over to the private sector.
CHD has major depots in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Dartford, east London, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Preston, Sheffield and south London.
The union's postal executive was due to meet this week, and an activists' briefing was also scheduled for this week. It is crucial that there is a real struggle over CHD, not a replay of the fiasco over Romec. There the executive hesitated, eventually calling a strike ballot. But then it did a deal which secured the rights of many of the workers transferred but accepted the principle of outsourcing.
The new issue of the rank and file paper Post Worker is out now. There are articles on fighting privatisation, the truth about Allan Leighton, an exclusive report from inside the national executive, a tribute to Jermaine Lee, and more.
Order individual copies or get your branch to place an order. Phone 07904 157 779.