‘Support us or lose six day a week deliveries’

Postmen are asking for support in their fight to protect services.
Postmen are asking for support in their fight to protect services.
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Residents in South Holland could have their letters delivered just twice a week if postmen planning to strike next month lose their fight to protect services.

On Monday, November 4, a 24-hour stoppage is being planned amid a bitter row between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail following privatisation.

Simon Peach, area delivery representative for the area including South Holland, said: “We really don’t want to strike and inconvenience our customers.

“It’s not about a pay deal but protecting jobs and the service we give.

“At the moment we have a universal service obligation to deliver every letter to every house across the country six days a week and that is now considered too expensive.

“We’ve already suffered revisions. In 2010 they took away our bikes and replaced them with trolleys and vans with two postmen in them – one delivering letters and the other parcels.

“But that hasn’t been working in some areas of Spalding and Long Sutton.

“The concern is deliveries could be cut to twice a week and that will affect jobs.

“Even if they decide to drop Saturdays, that’s a sixth of the workforce affected. If it goes down the three days that’s more jobs.”

Mr Peach said it would be customers “out in the sticks” who would suffer the most by any future revision of services.

He said: “Being a postman isn’t just about delivering letters, it is also a community service.

“There have been many cases when we’ve flagged up residents are sick because their curtains haven’t moved for a couple of days.

“But when there are shareholders involved, it’s all about money.

“The Government sold it off too cheaply for short-term gain that will result in long-term losses.

“People think we’ve made a lot out of our share deal, but we’ve not seen anything yet and we can’t do anything with it for three years anyway.”

Postmen are seeking a legal agreement that will protect them and underpin the current service provided.

Mr Peach said: “The protection we are looking to secure through negotiation is to cease any plan to franchise our members’ work, outsource or break up the company.”

If the dispute is left unresolved, more strikes could disrupt the busy Christmas delivery season.

Mr Peach said: “We need the public’s support and they can do this by writing to their MP.

“We’ve already sent ours.”