Postal Workers Join Picket Lines In Ely

PUBLISHED: 16:38 27 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

Workers in Ely join the protest

Workers in Ely join the protest

POSTAL workers across East Cambridgeshire joined the picket lines on Thursday morning, as part of a nationwide day of action from the Communication Workers Union (CWU). As many as 80 workers based in offices in Ely, Soham, Isleham and Haddenham joined str

POSTAL workers across East Cambridgeshire joined the picket lines on Thursday morning, as part of a nationwide day of action from the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

As many as 80 workers based in offices in Ely, Soham, Isleham and Haddenham joined strike action from 4am on Thursday in protest against Royal Mail Ely's proposed job cuts and programme of modernisation in the area.

Paul Chapman, union chairman for the Eastern No 4 Branch , said: "In the last five years there has been a 10 per cent reduction in mail volume but there has been 40'000 job cuts across the country.

"The people who are left are having to fill that gap and are having to work a lot harder but Royal Mail still want to take more jobs out. Royal Mail keeps talking about modernisation but we don't know what they mean by that.

"At least 90 per cent of our members supported the strike action. Nobody can afford to be losing money at a time like this but we felt strongly about this issue."

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Postal workers are working harder than ever and in return are facing attacks and harassment under Royal Mail's chaos approach to management.

"While Royal Mail claims mail volumes have dropped by 10 per cent they also claim that they have cut 40,000 jobs which means our members are working 20 per cent harder and handling more mail.

"We support and want to be involved in modernisation. We welcome tomorrow's meeting but there is still no urgency or desire from Royal Mail to take discussions forward. The company seems happy to sit back and watch the industry fall apart. We will not allow this to happen."

A spokesman for Royal Mail said, "Any changes we are making are fully in line with the existing agreement on modernisation.

"We have held more than 50 meetings with the union in recent months and the door for talks with the union remains open.

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