Labour Party protests in Dursley against Royal Mail privatisation as Communication Workers Union threatens to strike
MEMBERS of Cam, Dursley and Berkeley Labour Party have been out in Dursley encouraging people to write to Stroud District’s MP urging him not to back the privatisation of Royal Mail.
Canvassers were on Parsonage Street on Saturday, August 17 handing out special postcards protesting against the planned denationalisation, which could be sent to Conservative backbencher Neil Carmichael.
Coaley Labour activist Larry Cotterell said the group was hoping that the postcards would make Mr Carmichael think twice about supporting the "wrong-headed" legislation.
"It’s not difficult to predict what will happen if Royal Mail is privatised. The owners and shareholders will only be interested in their profits," he said.
"Prices will go up, the universal service will be gradually whittled down so rural areas will get a worse service. Delivery will be contracted out to the company offering the cheapest price and paying its workers the least money. And we’ll have lost part of our heritage."
Mr Cotterell said that Royal Mail was most likely to end up like the electricity and gas industries, run by similar companies in Europe or the US.
"We had a great reaction from people in Dursley when we asked people to sign the postcards to our MP," he said.
"We need to fight this Tory/LibDem privatisation of Royal Mail as hard as we can – and the local Labour Party will continue its campaign to stop the privatisation."
In response to the claims, Mr Carmichael told the Gazette that he had replied to the 113 postcards he had received so far "in emphatic terms".
"We need to have Royal Mail appropriately-funded and this is a good way to do so," he said.
"During the last Labour government 6,500 post offices were closed. This move will bring an end to those closures. We believe that hospitals and schools should have the first look at public funds.
"Its royal status is guaranteed, as is the postal provision. Royal Mail will be regulated by OFCOM, which has specific responsibilities that can’t be interfered with by a minister."
Plans for the privatisation have been considered since 2011 when legislation was passed to pave the way for the selling of the company’s shares.
Communication Workers Union, which represents postal workers in the company, is threatening to call a vote on whether to strike over issues linked to the Government's denationalisation plans.
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