Posties in strike threat to halt privatisation

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Postal workers’ unions have warned they are willing to strike to halt privatisation.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) will hold a consultative ballot later this month to see whether members are willing to take action against the Government’s plans to sell of the national stake in Royal Mail.

It follows a speech by Business Minister Michael Fallon this week describing the move as being “based on commercial reality, not ideology.”

Lenny Crook, chairman of the North Lancashire and Cumbria branch, said members would act to protect the service.

He said: “This is the last bastion of big, publicly-owned industries in this country.

“Royal Mail is an organisation which is still making a profit and yet the Government wants to keep the debt of the pension and sell off the part which makes the money.

“It appears there is no good reason for doing it, except it was in the Conservatives’ manifesto at the last election.”

The ballot will gauge the mood of CWU members as part of a dispute against moves towards privatisation.

Asked if members in Lancashire would be willing to take action, Mr Crook said: “I think they would because you have to think about what is at stake, once it is gone, it is gone. The people who lose out will be those in rural areas.”

Royal Mail regional operations director Stuart Simpson said postage would remain affordable and that a six day a week service would continue.

He said private investment was needed after a fall in the number of letters being sent.