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Galloway blames post strike on Royal Mail driving wages down'

PUBLISHED: 17:09 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 October 2010

Lunchtime on the picket in East London today

Lunchtime on the picket in East London today

GEORGE Galloway has come out in support of the national postal strike, blaming Royal Mail for trying to drive down wages and cut jobs. The Respect party leader accused bosses of given themselves bonuses while the workforce has a pay freeze

By Gemma Collins

GEORGE Galloway has come out this-afternoon in support of the national postal strike, blaming Royal Mail for trying to drive down wages and cut jobs.

The Respect party leader, whose Parliamentary constituency in London’s East End is one of Britain’s poorest, accused bosses of given themselves bonuses while the workforce has a pay freeze.

“The last people wanting a postal strike are the workers who are losing pay,” said the Bethnal Green & Bow MP.

“Of course it will massively inconvenience the public as well—I have constituents who are not receiving benefit cheques or correspondence from the Home Office and other Government departments.

“But I tell them the people to blame are Royal Mail and politicians who want to make an example of the postal workers to drive down wages, slash jobs and lay the ground for yet more privatisation.”

He added: “It’s not only bankers paying themselves unjustified bonuses—Royal Mail bosses have given themselves £10 million in handouts.”

The two-day strike began this-morning after several days of failed talks at Acas arbitration service.

Hundreds of postal workers across East London joined pickets outside the East London regional mail centre in Bromley-by-Bow in their 17th walk-out in five months. They included workers at two delivery centres at Bethnal Green and Bow.

The Communication Workers’ union East London rep, Angie Mulcahy, said: “I cannot see the strikes stopping unless we get an agreement. The workload is unachievable.”

Royal Mail insists it is doing everything to reach agreement.

Meanwhile, the union is threatening legal action over 30,000 temporary workers being broiight in to clear the mail backlog at depots up and down the country.

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