Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Supporting the CWU

Hackney Green Party has pledged its full support for a universal postal service and is backing the postal workers in their dispute with Royal Mail management.

Royal Mail management are trying to force through cuts to postal workers' earnings, often using threats and intimidation and wrecking their conditions of service.

The Green Party supports the postal workers because Royal Mail is not complying with a 2007 agreement pledging there would be consultation and negotiation on a new phase of modernisation, together with maintaining reasonable levels of pay.

"It is vital that we defend the jobs, pay and conditions of the postal workers and continue the fight against privatisation of the Royal Mail. Competition and introduction of market forces leads to reduced levels of service, poorer pay and conditions and job cuts, in order to protect the profits of the private companies," commented Matt Sellwood, the Green Party's Parliamentary Candidate for Hackney North & Stoke Newington.

"Not only is depriving people of vital community resources bad for health and wellbeing, it is also bad for the environment - carbon emissions are increased when people have to travel further for services which were once available locally. As more Royal Mail contracts are sold off to privateers such as TNT, there are potentially more vans from different companies delivering to the same addresses - increasing emissions, pollution and traffic.

"Privatisation has failed. Public services which have been privatised have not improved. The actions of the Royal Mail management and the Labour gvernment in trying to bully the CWU in this dispute have been shameful, but we know the Tories would be at least just as ruthless in their treatment of the postal workers. We fully support the right of the CWU members to strike, and we urge the public to support them in their struggle."

Meanwhile Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, has promised to "lobby at every level" in order to support striking postal workers and accused the Government of effectively "dismantling" Royal Mail with its ongoing programme of privatisation.

In a strongly worded letter to the Communication Workers Union, Lucas accused the Government of "ill-serving" workers and the UK public alike and criticised the Government for its "shameful privatisation of public services" which has led to "increased marginalisation and inequalities in terms of public access to services".

In the letter to CWU Secretary Bill Hayes, Caroline Lucas says: "In our view, Royal Mail workers and management have been on a collision course since the private sector has been forced on the service. By removing profitable parts of the business for the benefit of speculators and investors, the Government has created an environment in which the interests of the population of the UK as a whole have been ill-served, none more so than your members. It is shameful that a Labour Government should have played such a role in the privatisation of public services, and in a way which has increased marginalisation and inequalities in terms of access to services."

"It is especially concerning that this Labour Government is not content with overseeing the dismantling of this vital service, but now appears to be colluding with Royal Mail management to undermine the rights of the Union and its representatives, and condoning the side-lining of the CWU in working towards the completion of the agreement from the last period of industrial action."

The Green Party leader offered the CWU the Green's full support in the coming days, stating that "...we hope that any action is swift and positive in its results. As we did two years ago, we will lobby at every level to support the CWU cause."

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