MP fights for U-turn over privatisation

Lisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP

POSTAL workers hope to deliver a successful fight against privatisation by joining forces with Wigan’s MP.

After talks at the Hallgate sorting office with officials of the main Royal Mail union CWU, Lisa Nandy (pictured) has helped draft a national petition demanding the Government thinks again over is controversial proposals.

But a postal service spokesman insisted today the sell-off would help it operate in an increasingly competitive delivery environment.

Ms Nandy insisted that the plans were putting the universal postal service at risk. And she called on residents to back the campaign.

She said: “We all rely on the Royal Mail, from receiving that parcel we’ve ordered online to knowing that birthday card we’ve sent is going to arrive in time.

“I’ve been to the local sorting office in Wigan and speaking to local postal staff, so I know first hand that they are the beating heart of so many neighbourhoods round here.

“In many areas of the borough the post office acts as a focal point for communities and there are thousands of pensioners who are reassured by seeing their regular postie every morning.

“There are also the small businesses that use the Royal Mail for ensuring customers get their goods and services on time, efficiently, reliably and at a reasonable price.”

However Royal Mail Head of Operations for the West region Stuart Simpson said that the UK Government had acknowledged it is “not a good owner” of large businesses.

And privatisation would enable Royal Mail to become more “flexible and fleet of foot” in the competitive markets in which it operates.

He said: “We will also have long-term access to capital when we need it. The Government has made clear it doesn’t have the money to allocate to Royal Mail ahead of schools and hospitals.

“We aim to combine the best of the public and private sectors and the six-day-a-week, one-price-goes-anywhere, affordable Universal Service will remain unchanged. It is protected by law enshrined in the Postal Services Act 2011 and any change would have to be passed through an affirmative vote in both Houses of Parliament.”

He said the quality of the service regime that applies to Royal Mail under public ownership would continue to apply under private ownership.

Mr Simpson said that current staff terms and conditions for Royal Mail employees would remain in place, on the same basis, were the company to be sold. And to provide “further reassurance,” it would create a legally-binding and enforceable contract with the Communication Workers Union.