Socialist Worker

Fightback needed against the planned closure of three mail centres

Royal Mail last week suddenly announced the closure of three mail centres. Des Arthur, Coventry area processing rep, told Socialist worker why there has to be a fightback.

Issue No. 2021

The livelihoods of hundreds of CWU union members in Coventry, Reading and Gloucester are under serious threat following Royal Mail’s announcement to close mail centres in 2009.

In recent years Coventry, for example, has suffered greatly as a city. It has lost thousands of jobs from traditional industries, which have moved or closed. The list includes Massey Ferguson tractors, Jaguar Cars, Daimler and very recently Peugeot with the loss of a further 2,000 jobs. Royal Mail group is now one of the largest employers in the city.

This latest debacle from Royal Mail has caused great unrest among members and the wider community.

As a trade union we have a duty to the social and economic fabric of the community we serve and the time has come to say, “Enough is enough”.

Coventry work is supposed to be going to Northampton. But there is not even a site chosen in Northampton yet.

There is still everything to play for. We do not want our members to be faced with moving house, or going on the dole in an area where there are few jobs.

Managers admit to ignoring national agreements. At a recent meeting in Coventry they admitted to breaking the Shaping Our Future deal four days after our members ratified it.

Not only is Royal Mail continuing to do as they please but they are not interested in any form of industrial relations. They now only speak to our representatives when they think it will help them achieve their aims.

In Coventry they briefed us 15 minutes before they briefed our members and then had the nerve to state they wanted us to work with them to throw 600 plus people out of work.

This latest episode shows their true colours and gives a further insight into their vision of the future—a future that does not include a trade union.

Let’s also be clear that the closure of three centres is not the entirety of Royal Mail plans. The company has an agenda they are not revealing to us.

We must defend our future and that of our members by all means at our disposal. We will liaise with Reading and Gloucester about campaigning and be part of any national fightback.

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Article information

Sat 7 Oct 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2021
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