PM offers olive branch to posties

David Cameron has attempted to appease disgruntled posties – riled over Royal Mail sell-off plans – by sending a letter of thanks to staff who battled December’s severe weather to carry out deliveries.
The Prime Minister backed staff members for their “excellent work”, despite heavy snowfall and icy conditions wreaking havoc with deliveries over the seasonal period, during which Royal Mail processed almost 2bn items. In contrast, many supermarkets and private couriers cancelled deliveries.
Even so, thousands of letters have yet to be delivered, with hundreds of Royal Mail postal workers taking to the streets last Sunday in a bid to clear the backlog.
In the letter, Cameron said: “I would like to thank all of you for the excellent work that you did right across the country to deliver Christmas letters, cards and parcels.
“Christmas is always a very busy time for you. The freezing conditions that you have faced – the last few weeks have seen the worst start to the winter in living memory – have made deliveries this year particularly difficult. Despite this, you did everything possible to keep the service going and to make sure that the vast majority of people got their cards and their presents before Christmas.”
But the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has warned that under a privatised Royal Mail, posties would be forced to ditch such deliveries.
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “This is the difference between a public service and private companies which are more interested in their profits.
“If the Government gets its way and privatises Royal Mail, then delivery standards will undoubtedly slip away as the expensive Universal Service is left at the mercy of privateers who care only for profit.”
Meanwhile the union has vowed to step up its fight against privatisation. CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “We’ll be protesting in (Postal Affairs Minister) Ed Davey’s constituency on January 22, making our voice heard when it comes to the future of the postal industry.
“There are wide-reaching implications from this legislation. In its current form it threatens the ongoing modernisation of Royal Mail and will destabilise the progress made to date. It also threatens the jobs, terms and conditions of our members and we’ll do whatever it takes to defend against the damaging effects of privatisation.”

Related stories:
Royal Mail sell-off gets green light
Royal Mail plans evening deliveries
Posties battle through blizzard

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