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East Lancashire postal workers in strike ballot over privatisation plans
POSTAL workers in East Lancashire are voting on whether to strike next month over the government’s proposed privatisation of Royal Mail.
Last week, the government announced its intention to float Royal Mail on the London Stock Exchange in the coming weeks, and under the plan, 800 Royal Mail employees in East Lancashire will receive free shares in the company.
Carl Webb the North West regional secretary of the CWU, the postal workers’ union, said employees were worried that privatisation of the company would damage the postal service and lead to poorer terms and conditions for staff.
He said a ballot was being held among union members over whether to take industrial action.
Mr Webb said: “We can’t take industrial action about privatisation, but we can about the terms and conditions of our members, and the service that we provide.
“Obviously we’re opposed to the privatisation. We don’t think it’s going to do Royal Mail any favours.
“It will be a race to the bottom and the company will only be interested in big dividends for shareholders and not in its service or staff.
“Profits should be reinvested back into the company and into staff.
“All the polls show that the public are totally against it. We have the backing of the public on this.
“To quote Margaret Thatcher, it’s a step too far to privatise Royal Mail.”
The outcome of the ballot will be announced on October 3, with strikes possible seven days after that.
Moya Greene, Chief Executive Officer at Royal Mail said: "The Government has initiated the process for Royal Mail's privatisation and has dispelled any doubt over the future ownership of the business.
“It is now time for Royal Mail and the CWU to come to a new agreement for our people going forward.
“Talk of a ballot for industrial action makes no sense when there is a significant three-year deal on the table and negotiations are ongoing.
"We have done a lot for the people and our company, through a better more collaborative relationship.
“We need to build on that.
“At the end of the day, the most durable protection for everyone who works in this business is a successful Royal Mail.
“Which is trusted for reliability by the people whom we serve."
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