https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/03/we-need-our-postiesWe Need Our PostiesBy Dave Ward
Coronavirus reminds us all how crucial it is to have a social fabric that supports communities, particularly those who are vulnerable. That's why Britain's posties are fighting to stop Royal Mail from destroying the universal service.
As the coronavirus crisis deepens and the country is gripped by increasing restrictions on what we can and can’t do, the role of a postal worker in connecting every city, town, village and rural community across the UK comes into sharper focus.
On Tuesday we announce the result of our Royal Mail Group industrial action ballot and this is the third time in three years we have balloted our members in defence of jobs and the services we provide to the public and the business community.
The very existence of daily deliveries is under threat and our argument is it would be a fundemental mistake to turn Royal Mail into just another glorified parcels courier.
Instead, we should be looking to enhance and expand the social and economic role of a postal worker. An example of this could be delivering medicines and medical equipment to the door. The postal service is and must continue to be part of the social fabric of the country. This is what we are fighting for and we want your support.
Final post on Monday will be the last chance for CWU members to post back their ballot papers. So, if you take a delivery or see your postie out and about on Monday please show them support and remind them to vote.
The support of the public to our members cannot be underestimated. A simple thank you or good luck will mean the world.
And in return we promise we will fight to protect the services we provide to you. As millions of people face isolation, many of whom will be elderly or vulnerable, the only person they may see is the local postal worker.
This is a battle of ethos. This is public service vs. private dogma. This is community vs. shareholder greed. This is the people vs. the establishment.
In a society which is becoming increasingly selfish, increasingly divided and increasingly individualistic, the sight of 110,000 workers standing together as one is something we should all be proud of.
Many governments and managerial teams have tried and failed to break the bond between postal workers and their union.
They’ve failed because of the members. They’ve failed because of the CWU. But they’ve also failed because of your support.
We will set out our full campaign for public support once the ballot closes on Tuesday but for now please say hello to your postal worker on Monday. Your solidarity inspires us.
About the Author
Dave Ward is general secretary of the Communication Workers Union.