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We have to strike to protect Royal Mail for the nation

PUBLISHED: 02:00 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:06 05 October 2010

Dear Ed, POSTAL workers want to explain why strike action has been taking place in London for the past four months and why that action is about to go national in the morning (Thursday) for two days. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson threatened that the Government would give Royal Mail the go ahead to cut 16,000 jobs. Our aim is to secure the future of the service

Dear Ed,

POSTAL workers in East London would like to apologise for the disruptions and want to explain why strike action has been taking place in London for the past four months and why that action is about to go national in the morning (Thursday) for two days.

Earlier this year, unelected Business Secretary Peter Mandelson made his second attempt to privatise Royal Mail. Mandelson threatened that if privatisation didn't happen, the Government would scrap its commitment to underwrite our pensions and, more menacingly, would give Royal Mail the go ahead to cut 16,000 jobs and attack our working conditions.

Sure enough, since we stopped the move to privatisation, Royal Mail has forced through change without agreement, de-recognising the Communications Workers' Union at local level, bullied staff and imposed impossible and unachievable workloads. Our bosses, supported by the Government, want to drive the union out of the Royal Mail. Their latest tactic is to employ 30,000 freelance agency staff in an effort to break the strike.

The union accepts the need for change and modernisation. Over the last three years, we have negotiated a reduction of 40,000 jobs and successfully introduced new technology. Our aim is to secure the future of the service. This is not a failing industry. Royal Mail made £321 million profit this year. But while workers have had a pay freeze, our bosses have carved up £10 million in bonuses!

Royal Mail has lost the confidence and trust of its workforce. The only way it can regained that lost confidence is to stop the bullying and come to the table and negotiate.

If we sit back and do nothing, Royal Mail will run the industry into the ground, then carve it up into pieces to sell if off to outside investors.

Your postmen and women are part of the fabric of our society. We are determined to reach agreement which delivers the first class postal service the public deserves.

John Ayres

Angie Mulcahy

CWU Area Representatives

East London

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