MARCH AND RALLY WITH US TO DEFEND ROYAL MAIL! – Letter from Northampton CWU

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Northamptonshire CWU banner on the march to keep open Milton Keynes Mail Centre
Northamptonshire CWU banner on the march to keep open Milton Keynes Mail Centre

Dear Editor,

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is working with other Trade Unions, politicians and members of the public to retain a wholly publicly owned Royal Mail.

A March and Rally has been planned to take place in Corby on 20th March 09, the constituency of Phil Hope MP who is in favour of Peter Mandelson’s plans to part privatise the UK postal services.

Postal workers and the public of Corby are furious that MP Phil Hope has not consulted with the CWU or the local people before throwing his wholehearted support behind the government to renege on the 2005 Labour Party manifesto which was to retain a wholly publicly owned Royal Mail.

A campaign meeting took place in Corby yesterday between postal workers, CWU officials and members of the public to finalise details of the March and Rally and local people were clearly incensed when informed that Phil Hope had not responded to Union correspondence and he failed to turn up at a lobby of Parliament on 24th February despite two separate invites from the Local Branch and Midlands Regional secretary.

Support has been pouring in from other big Trade Unions, MPs, CLPs, Trades Council (TUC) and members of the public.

Lord Tony Clarke (Former Deputy General Secretary UCW) and Jane Loftus (CWU Vice President) will be amongst the speakers with many more Trade Unions lined up to be confirmed.

Tony Benn has already sent a recorded message of support as he is unfortunately speaking at another event but many other big names are expected to attend as Corby is still very well respected for its working class roots and Trade Union values.

Somehow Phil Hope has become totally detached from his electorate and whilst he refuses to respond to CWU correspondence he bombards the CWU with emails giving silly reasons why he would prefer not to meet in public.

Obviously the public are becoming ever familiar with his lack of public presence and fear to engage with them on his support to privatise the Royal Mail.

It is because of his reluctance to have the courage of his convictions that the CWU has decided to go direct to the public of Corby who are clearly up for the fight to retain a wholly publicly owned Royal Mail.

Phil Hope has also been deceiving the public by going on record to say that he supports a publicly owned Royal Mail but what he really means is a partly publicly owned Royal Mail.

The words are the words in the Labour Party manifesto and they are to retain a wholly publicly owned Royal Mail.

The public will not be conned by such spin and we are working hard with the public to remind Phil Hope and other MPs that they are elected by the people to represent the people.

The vast majority of the British public are still very much against the part-privatisation of Royal Mail and it is shameful that a Labour government should even contemplate pushing an old Conservative agenda for privatising Royal Mail where even Margaret Thatcher failed whilst in power.

The event will begin with supporters assembling at the Corby Civic Centre at 1.15pm to march at 1.30pm to Phil Hope’s surgery at the Old TA building.

The CWU and members of the public will then deliver a message to Phil Hope before returning to the Corby Labour club for a 2pm rally which is expected to attract hundreds of supporters from across the Country.

If Phil Hope or any other MP fails to listen to their constituents, they are not worthy of the job that they are elected to do.

What we will not stand by and watch is an MP putting his own personal views and career ambitions before that of the electorate and you know that you are on solid ground when you have such a ground swell of support from the public.

Phil Hope and the Conservative MPs for Northamptonshire should not take their constituents for granted on this issue because I promise on behalf of Northamptonshire postal workers and our customers / the electorate that we will expose them at every single opportunity.

The rural areas of the Country will encounter the worst decline in service under any privatisation as profit replaces quality of service and the universal service obligation (USO) comes under direct threat.

No private company will ever be interested in delivering to these areas because a private company’s sole interest is to maximise profits which the USO does not provide in the outlying areas.

I urge the public now to make their MP accountable by writing to them and urging them to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 428 opposing the part privatisation of Royal Mail.

Just look at the damage done since the private racketeers took control of the railways, gas, electricity, water and buses, to name just a few.

They just continually increase your bills at a whim and now the collapse of the banks which the government has no qualms about bringing back under public ownership.

What is really sickening is that Peter Mandelson is not even elected by the people of Britain.

Royal Mail is a long established and respected part of the community, do not allow this government to renege on its Labour Party manifesto by placing another public service in the hands of the greedy private vultures.

Please contact the CWU if you would like to become more involved with the campaign for a wholly publicly owned Royal Mail.

Mick Fitzmaurice

CWU Branch Secretary

Northamptonshire Amalgamated Branch

Room GO1, Sol House

29 St Katherines Street

Northampton

Tel: 01604 631219