Postal workers at the CWU Conference in Bournemouth said yesterday they are ready for a fight to defend their jobs, wages and the postal service.
Paul Wood, a Parcelforce Rep from Charlton, south-east London, told News Line: ‘We should all stand together and fight for our jobs and people’s rights.
‘If they split the Post Office it will be a disaster for everyone. They are already trying backdoor privatisation with the share scheme they’ve put in place.
‘I hope the union will fight this all the way – they have to.
‘Other unions should come out in our support. There was a time when we came out with the nurses and we have a tradition of not crossing other people’s picket lines.’
NEC member Ian Ward added: ‘It’s looking very positive. We had a great result in all three ballots, especially Post Office Counters which I represent.
‘Our members are angry. They want us to reach a decent pay agreement for them, but if Royal Mail and the Post Office won’t negotiate, our members are ready to take action.’
Alan, a British Telecoms member, said: ‘We say good luck to the postal workers. They’ve put their flag out saying this is what we want. They want to negotiate but it’s the final results that count.’
Postal worker Andy Blundy, from Watford, said: ‘The vote has made a statement to Alan Leighton (Royal Mail boss) that the members have had enough of his bully-boy tactics.
‘He wants a war, he wants to destroy the CWU once and for all. We have to strike, we have to take action and defeat Royal Mail’s attempt to destroy us.’
Watford CWU Processing Rep, Steve Ashpole, added: ‘The vote was a good turnout. It’s a slap in the face for Royal Mail. We called on Royal Mail to negotiate. I think the government will have to step in.
‘But I think it would like to break the back of the unions, after all, Labour has added to Thatcher’s anti-union laws.
‘If they do come for us we are ready for a fight. All our members have had enough and that’s across the country this time.
‘We have to see what Royal Mail’s contingency plans are, but it looks like they are lining up scabs.
‘I think other unions will support us. Others are looking to see how strong we are and they recognise we need to stand together.
‘The TUC has to be told to support us.’
Greenford CWU Branch Secretary Geoff Loftus told News Line: ‘The vote shows how Mr Leighton and Mr Crozier don’t know what they are doing with the Royal Mail business.
‘They’ve run it into the ground. We definitely need new leadership in the Royal Mail business – people who really do care about the service and the people who work for it.
‘This will be a long drawn out struggle that we must win for the public and the postal workers.’