Postal move may hit jobs, say opponents

nrhn 200111 postal service from Eastwood sorting depot protest outside of Downing street - involving Heanor man Andrew Green.
nrhn 200111 postal service from Eastwood sorting depot protest outside of Downing street - involving Heanor man Andrew Green.

AN EASTWOOD postal worker has slammed plans to privatise the Royal Mail given the green light this week.

A bill was passed by the House of Commons on Wednesday, January 12, to privatise up to 90 per cent of the Royal Mail.

MPs voted in favour of the Coalition government’s proposal but opponents claim it will mean job losses and the closure of Post Offices around the UK.

The Bill will now be passed to the House of Lords for further scrutiny.

Andrew Green, who is the Communication Workers’ Union official for the Eastwood sorting depot, took a petition with 1,500 names from Nottinghamshire residents to 10 Downing Street on the day of the vote.

And union spokesman Darren Glebocki said: “This Government has no public mandate or popular support for the break up and sell off of our postal services.

“These privatisation plans will result in the separation of the Royal Mail from the Post Office network, which would be a fatal step for many local Post Offices.”

Eastwood’s Labour MP Gloria De Piero has backed the union’s fight and welcomed the group of local postal workers to the House of Commons when they handed over the petition.

After meeting the delegation Gloria, who voted against the proposals, said: “I’m deeply concerned about the impact locally in Eastwood.

“People and businesses across our community rely on a decent and efficient service from the Royal Mail, which I fear would be threatened by the dash to profit.

“Selling the whole of the Royal Mail to a private firm could endanger jobs of local postal workers in Eastwood.”

But Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry backed the plans in the vote saying she believed it was the only way to secure the future of Royal Mail and the ‘universal postal system’ – which guarantees deliveries six days a week for the same price anywhere in the country.

“This was also the conclusion of the last Labour Government before the election so it is a bit of a surprise to see their policy change so much,” she added.

“The universal postal service is guaranteed through this which for me was critical. And under the plans the Government has guaranteed the pensions of the postal workers and their pension fund was in serious deficit.

“We’ve also given the commitment that Post Offices will be maintained so we don’t have the sort of widescale closure programme that happened under Labour, certainly in Broxtowe which lost three.”

Delivery firms TNT and DHL have been hinted as possible candidates to take over Royal Mail services, including postal delivery.