Crozier, Leighton Shutting Down Mail Centres

Picket line at West London Mail Centre in Paddington – closed after the wage and flexibility strikes
Picket line at West London Mail Centre in Paddington – closed after the wage and flexibility strikes

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Postal Executive has put forward an emergency motion for possible strike action by Mail Centre members for debate at the union’s annual conference in Liverpool next month.

In a letter to branches,  CWU Assistant Secretary Indoor Department Martin Collins complains that Royal Mail bosses have broken the National Agreement with the union and announced Mail Centre closures without the agreed consultation, citing ‘the Thames Valley Case’, planned closures of Coventry, Reading and Gloucester, and Milton Keynes Mail Centres.

He adds that, ‘It appears they have no interest in letting us know their next proposed change until the plans are already well advanced.’

He says that, ‘The Postal Executive feel it is now essential that we demonstrate to the Business that unless they adhere to our current National Agreement, provide clarity for their future plans and honour the principles agreed under Pay and Modernisation we will not hesitate to respond accordingly.’

The emergency motion states:–

‘This conference deplores the recent actions of Royal Mail’s decision to disregard the National Agreement dealing with Mail Centre Network changes despite previous assurances that they (Royal Mail) would work within the terms of the agreement. Royal Mail’s dishonourable actions show nothing but contempt for the CWU, our members employed within the Mail Centre Network and their families.

‘We require a firm commitment from the Business that:

‘No further Mail Centre closures will be announced until the full details of their future Mail Centre strategy has been provided at National Level by no later than the end of June 2008.

‘They will adhere to our current Agreement regarding proposals for Mail Centre structural changes.

‘They will agree with the CWU regarding how we will deal/mitigate any impact on our members from any rationalisation e.g. job losses, effects on earnings, voluntary redundancies etc.

‘In the absence of the Business providing the above commitments Conference endorses the Postal Executive’s decision to ballot all CWU grades who work directly or indirectly within the Mail Centre Network for Industrial Action consisting of Strike action.’

Collins and CWU deputy general secretary (postal) Dave Ward add: ‘The Postal Executive have of course recognised that the arrangements for the timetable of the Ballot will also need to take into account the other important National issues that are currently facing us at this point in time.’