Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/240/24919
Letter Delivery Gifted To Privatisers
Hands Off The Post Office
THE ANNOUNCEMENT of the end of Royal Mail's monopoly by the regulator Postcomm was greeted with anger and disbelief by postal workers. The announcement was deliberately timed in the middle of a strike ballot.
By a London postal worker
Though it came from the regulator, it was the government that appointed Corbett and the other members and set the regulator's terms of reference. Companies will be able to cherry-pick profitable areas, threatening the service in rural areas. They will also be able to dump less profitable operations onto Royal Mail, forcing Royal Mail to deliver the competitors' mail to less accessible areas, for example.
In the first phase, bulk mail totalling 30% of Royal Mail's business, will be affected but Postcomm say the whole of the monopoly will go by 2006.
Through Postcomm, the government is murdering Royal Mail. The announcement gives fresh impetus to the campaign to free the political fund from supporting New Labour, and to the need to create a party of the working class to end this Thatcherite madness.
Stop the break-up and privatisation of the Post Office.
Renationalise what has already been hived off and run it as an integrated public service under democratic workers' control and management.
End all closures, redundancies and 'rationalisation'. For improved technology and working arrangements which will benefit postal workers and provide a better service.
End low pay for long working hours. Pay all postal workers a decent wage for a 35-hour week.
THE POSTAL Services Commission, or Postcomm is proposing the following:
From 2002 to 2004 bulk mailings above 4,000 items and some 'niche' services will be up for grabs. This is 30% of the value of Consignia's market.
From 2004 to 2006, the bulk mail threshold will be lowered to 500 items. This is a further 30% of Consignia's market.
After 2006 all restrictions will be abolished.
Postcomm claim that nearly nine out of ten letters are sent by companies or government agencies, so that is what is being opened up to privatisation first. Consignia is losing £1.5 million per day.
The National Audit Office has already warned that Consignia could turn the post office into 'another Railtrack', particularly if it loses the business that Postcomm is proposing to hive off.
In The Socialist 8 February 2002: