Reports and Campaigns
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Reports and campaigns:
Hands Off the Post Office
LAST WEEK, following an initiative by Socialist Party councillors, Coventry city council unanimously voted to oppose post office privatisation.
Rob Windsor, Coventry Socialist Party councillor
Our motion calling for the total halting of all privatisation plans was amended by Labour, who called for the government to 'rein in' the postal commissioner and 'modify' his plans. Normally, New Labour amend our motions out of existence but they were in a tight spot with imminent local elections.
Labour worry that this privatisation could trigger a hurricane of opposition amongst working-class people. Like the poll tax it will affect everyone.
During the debate we said we didn't just want the regulator "reined in" we want it dismantled. And we made it clear that the New Labour government are responsible for this privatisation.
Finally I said that I did not want the motion to sit doing nothing but to be part of a wider, active campaign opposing privatisation. The Tories and the one Liberal also voted to oppose privatisation.
No doubt the Tories have their eye on the rural postal services that would be devastated by the closure of 3,000 post offices which would be "unprofitable" areas for private delivery firms.
We have written to Billy Hayes, Communication Workers' Union (CWU) general secretary, about the resolution, with a copy to local CWU reps.
We'll see whether the council will do anything on this issue but The Socialist Party will step up our campaign against this and other privatisations.
The Socialist Party calls for:
- Strike action in defence of all 40,000 post office jobs under threat, not just to oppose compulsory redundancies.
- The CWU to organise a mass demonstration against this job slaughter.
- For a one-day public sector strike against New Labour's privatisation programme.