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."
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...