Hundreds of postal workers and their families are today joining the business community, politicians and members of the public in a march through Bletchley, Milton Keynes against the closure of the mail centre, culminating in a rally.
They are marching under the slogan: ‘Save Milton Keynes Mail Centre, Our Jobs, Our Community, Your Service, Everyone’s Future.’
Communication Workers Union (CWU) eastern regional secretary Paul Moffat told News Line yesterday: ‘After months of speculation Royal Mail’s Tony Fox announced the closure of Milton Keynes Mail Centre on Wednesday, 12th November 2008.’
The closure is due to take place in Spring 2010.
Moffat continued: ‘Milton Keynes has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and Europe; if this closure went ahead it would rip out jobs and services from an area of diversity and growth and could threaten the success of other businesses in the area.
‘The decision to close Milton Keynes Mail Centre can only be described as a commercially-driven savings and cost-cutting exercise, this being their main reason for including Milton Keynes in the Coventry & Northampton closure programme.
‘The local Branch Eastern No 6 has tabled a counter consultation document which clearly demonstrates a package that is both financially viable and achievable.
‘Royal Mail’s Project Manager Adrian Hockin has rejected these proposals out of hand and has failed to consult over the document stating that the business’s preferred option is the new build.
‘Royal Mail have consistently failed to enter into negotiations both locally and nationally regarding their un-negotiated closure programme and have ploughed ahead regardless of economic or community considerations with their slash and burn policy on mail centre closures that is clearly savings driven against service or jobs.
‘The Milton Keynes Mail Centre directly employs around 600 people all of these jobs are threatened by Royal Mail’s proposal to close the mail centre.
‘This is a fight we will have, and a fight that we can win against Royal Mail’s ill thought out and illogical closure programme.’
Rob Bolton, chairman, HP Section, CWU South Central No.1 Branch, told News Line yesterday: ‘Milton Keynes Mail Centre must not close.
‘Our union has a duty to defend every mail centre and every job.
‘No mail centre must be allowed to close.
‘With rising unemployment, there will be no jobs for those workers to go to.
‘We must occupy all mail centres and delivery offices threatened with closure.
‘Our union leaders must call a halt to negotiations with Royal Mail over the closure programme.
‘We must resist all redundancies and call on the rest of the trade union movement to support us.
‘We don’t accept their closure programme.
‘We urgently need leaders of the CWU who are going to fight for the future of their members.
‘If Hayes and Ward (CWU leaders) will not fight the employer over this most basic issue, they should resign and make way for those who will.’