Postal Strikes For Ely As Union Anger Mounts Over Jobs and Delivery Cuts

PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

strikes plan

strikes plan

UNION members have described proposals by Royal Mail to cut jobs and deliveries in Ely as draconian and have voted to strike in the city. The Communication Workers Union Eastern Number Four Branch announced on Tuesday that there will be strike action in

UNION members have described proposals by Royal Mail to cut jobs and deliveries in Ely as "draconian" and have voted to strike in the city.

The Communication Workers Union Eastern Number Four Branch announced on Tuesday that there will be strike action in response to Royal Mail Ely's proposals, which were also described as destructive.

Royal Mail Ely has plans to cut 17 jobs in the area: 10 in Ely, three in Soham, two in Sutton and one in each in Isleham and Littleport. It has already cut the city's night shift and reduced the postal service in Wilburton from two postmen to one as well as cutting back on business deliveries in Ely.

The union claims that proposed changes to postal deliveries will also reduce earning potential and take home pay and severely worsen the postal service to the businesses and public throughout the East Cambridgeshire area.

Members of the CWU across the Ely Postcode area will take industrial action on Thursday, August 27. Posties in Ely will strike from 4am to 8pm, while fellow union members in Soham, Haddenham and Isleham will strike from 6am to 4pm.

Paul Chapman CWU Representative said: "My members do not take strike action lightly as they can ill afford to lose money. However, unlike Royal Mail they care about the communities and businesses they delivery to and are not prepared to stand by and allow a once great service to deteriorate. Postal staff in Ely are continually being pressured on a daily basis to take extra work on top of their own deliveries. As a result large areas of Ely do not have a regular delivery time. The public never know whether their post will turn up at 9am or two in the afternoon.

"Strikes are a proportionate response to an employer that is completely out of control. Rather than running the business, Royal Mail's actions demonstrate they are intent on destroying it."

He added: "The CWU understand that changes need to be made in the current climate but these need to be negotiated with the union.

"The CWU has offered Royal Mail national talks and a moratorium, where we offered to put industrial action on hold to reach agreements on change, Royal Mail has refused this offer.

"The CWU believe that Royal Mail is a vital public service that many small to medium business rely on and that Royal Mail's approach to ripping out hours and jobs will destroy the mail service to houses holds in this country."

Mr Chapman said that East Cambridgeshire is continuing to grow despite the recession and said the Royal Mail cuts would have a severe effect on postal deliveries in Soham, where major housing development is taking place.

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