Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson paid tribute to hard-working postal workers in his constituency on the busiest day of the year for Royal Mail staff.
The MP celebrated posties on “Postal Workers Day” and attacked the Conservative Government’s decision to privatise the Royal Mail.
The CWU, which represents postal workers, is currently in dispute with Royal Mail over pay and conditions and Mr Esterson, who joined his own postie Alan Webster on his round in Maghull, said posties must be fairly rewarded for the job they do.
Mr Esterson said: “I had a great day out with Alan my postman, seeing first hand the hard work that goes in to delivering mail every day.
“All postal workers locally and across the country do a great job guaranteeing delivery to every home and business in the UK. That is something other private mail companies don’t have to do. They don’t have to provide a universal service, which means they can cherry-pick profitable routes and undercut the Royal Mail.
“In order to compete, Royal Mail has cut jobs, closed mail centres and attacked the terms and conditions of staff.
“That is why privatisation of the Royal Mail was the wrong thing to do. That’s why postal workers like Alan have had their pay and conditions put under threat – because of the Tories’ short-sighted decision to privatise.
“Labour would bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership where it belongs, protect terms and conditions and plough the profits back into the service or other public services.”
The MP said Postal Workers Day on December 12 was a chance to celebrate the hard work of every postie. Since privatisation of the Royal Mail in 2013, 12,000 jobs have been lost, a fifth of its mail centres have closed and over 50 delivery offices have shut with more due to follow.
“Hundreds of postal workers in my constituency alone were going the extra mile on December 12 to make sure all Christmas cards, letters and parcels got to where they were meant to go in the quickest possible time. Millions of items were processed across the country,” said Mr Esterson.
“Over the past four years the Post Office has cut staff and have increased the amount of franchising they do, which basically means instead of taking on permanent staff they use ‘self-employed’ drivers who do the same job as staff but have no sick pay, holiday pay or other benefits. This ‘gig economy’ type role is rife with issues and puts all the risk on the worker.
“Royal Mail’s latest six-month results show £70m paid out in dividends to private shareholders – almost £700m in four years since it was privatised. Posties like Alan are dedicated employees who care about doing a good job for the communities they serve and without them the Royal Mail couldn't make any profit.”