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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 June 2002

Hands Off The Post Office

WHEN OUR manager announced the 1.1 billion loss in Consignia and the additional 17,000 job losses on top of the 15,000 already announced, my workmates cheered at the resignation of Chief Executive John Roberts.

A London postal worker

But some have had enough and want Early Voluntary Retirement (EVR).

While the first batch of redundancies was largely in Parcelforce, the second batches are mainly delivery workers. This is a consequence of the abolition of the second delivery and the proposed introduction of the so-called Tailored Delivery Service. Management claim that only 4% of mail is being delivered on second delivery.

Postal workers don't want to spend four hours a day without a break carrying heavy mail bags around the streets and EVR is tempting if people expect to get another job. But recession is looming and many who take EVR may regret their decision.

The new chairman, Leighton is trying to disassociate himself from his predecessors. In particular, he criticised the buying up of foreign companies, instead of investing in Royal Mail. But he's still in favour of another fashionable management policy, outsourcing.

Haden, part of Balfour Beatty, one of Railtrack's most notorious contractors is likely to take over building maintenance and cleaning, now done for Consignia by ROMEC. Vehicle services and health and welfare services are also being targeted for outsourcing.

Whatever happens, it looks like we will pay for senior management's mistakes as usual.

Gary Clarke, from Edinburgh added:

"THERE WAS a mixed reaction to the announcements in my workplace, some people are in the mood to fight the redundancies but some older workers want to go. But everybody wants to know what's happened to the cash. What happened to the 22 years of profit, when we had our pay rises frozen?

"The most any postal worker can get if they go now, with long service, is 25-30,000. For less than ten years service you can only get three weeks wages for every year served.

"How much is John Roberts going to walk away with, after presiding over the transformation of a profit-making organisation to one making record losses?

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In The Socialist 21 June 2002:

Enough Is Enough: Time to fight back!

Hands Off The Post Office

Protesting At World Bank

Defend Asylum Rights

Does The Fall Of The USSR Prove That Socialism Will Inevitably Fail?

German Building Workers Strike

Unison conference: Delegates Back Privatisation Battle


 

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Related links:

Post Office:

triangleWHSmith: hands off our Post Offices!

triangleCWU conference: Sharpen up our act? Yes. But weaken our democracy? No

triangleHuddersfield set to lose two town centre post offices

Privatisation:

triangleGrayling's attacks on rail workers wages 'un-fare'

triangleAnother victory against NHS privatisation

Outsourcing:

triangleCall to arms by Southampton council unions

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