TUC conference: Unions back battle to save Royal Mail
TUC gives support to unions trying to save the Royal Mail from privatisation
Tuesday 10 September 2013
The campaign against the Government's controversial plan to privatise Royal Mail won more support as unions warned potential investors against buying into the sell-off.
The TUC Congress in Bournemouth gave its backing to the Communication Workers Union and Unite, which are fighting privatisation on behalf of more than 100,000 postal workers and managers.
The CWU's deputy general secretary, Dave Ward, said he was confident his members would vote in favour of strikes when they are balloted in the coming weeks.
He told delegates that postal workers had dealt with some difficult issues as the industry has changed and modernised in recent years, adding: "We have not gone through all of that pain to save the industry only to hand it over to private investors who will take more money out than they will ever put in."
Mr Ward said he also had a message for Labour leader Ed Miliband, who is pressing for changes to the party's links with union.
"I go to sorting offices up and down the country and workers there are not talking about a new relationship. When are you going to get off your backside and stand up for a great public service like the Royal Mail?" said Mr Ward.
The union will take its campaign to the floor of Labour's annual conference in Brighton later this month, said Mr Ward, adding: "We have a warning for investors who might be thinking they will come in for a quick killing - we are not going away, we will defend the postal service and our members with everything we have got."
Tony Burke, assistant general secretary of Unite, which represents managers, said the public strongly opposed privatisation, adding: It is clear the Government is motivated by the chance to make a quick buck, a chance to sell off one of our prized assets at a massive cost to the taxpayer."
Mr Burke asked what safeguards the Government had put in place to stop stamp prices increasing or to safeguard the universal services.
"Will a private company keep an eye out for pensioners and the disabled as postal staff do on their rounds? Will they walk the floors of tower blocks to deliver mail?
"The Government should dump the idea, admit they got it wrong and admit they have no mandate."
A Department for Business spokesman said: "Action taken by the CWU will not alter the Government's decision to sell shares in Royal Mail in this financial year.
"Parliament decided over two years ago that selling shares in Royal Mail was the right thing to do to secure Royal Mail's future and protect the six day a week, one price goes anywhere, universal postal service. A successful, financially sustainable Royal Mail with access to private capital is in the best interests of the workforce and all users of the universal service.
"The Government accepts that it will not be able to convince the CWU of the benefits of a sale. But it believes that its reforms - including a sale of shares - will ensure that Royal Mail has a sustainable future.
"A viable and successful Royal Mail is in the best interests of employees. Through the sale we are also giving employees the opportunity to own a real stake in the business.
"We would encourage the CWU and RM to agree a pay deal through negotiations. This will be in the best interests of the employees, the company and, ultimately, the users of the universal service."
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
Bubonic plague-carrying fleas found on New York City rats
London property boom built on dirty money
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...
£30000 - £35379 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company is based in Welwyn ...
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...