The Communication Workers’ Union is holding a national mass meeting against privatisation, in the face of postal regulator Postcomm’s decision to open up all parts of the service to competition in January 2006,
Competitors will be able to pick and choose which of the Royal Mail’s services they will offer, but strict regulation of Royal Mail will leave it weak in the face of competition, leading to job losses. The decision to allow this to happen was taken by Postcomm, which was created by the government in order to push through the Blairite privatisation agenda. Tony Benn said at a rally on 20 July that “PostComm is a fundamentally undemocratic concept. We elect a government and then they hand over responsibility for a public service to someone else. Whatever next? We could have an organisation called Warcomm to decide which countries we are going to go to war with!”
The government seems unwilling to uphold the Warwick agreement, endorsed by last year’s party conference, which proclaimed that New Labour had “no plans” to privatise the industry. Deputy General Secretary Dave Ward said that “I feel frustrated, disappointed and let down by a government that I supported. Nobody in this government will give us a straight answer about the future of the postal industry”.
London CWU representatives have emphasised the importance of the 7 September national mass meeting in taking on Postcomm’s agenda — “September is a crucial month for us to defeat these plans. It is, therefore, essential that branches attend the launch pad for the campaign” — since thousands of members’ jobs are at risk. The speakers include Billy Hayes (General Secretary of the CWU), Dave Ward, the RMT’s Bob Crow, the PCS’s Mark Serwotka, the FBU’s Matt Wrack, John Grogan MP and a speaker from the National Pensioners Convention.
CWU meeting against privatisation
12.30 pm, Weds 7 September
Main Hall, Friends’ Meeting House, Euston Road, London