A UNION representative has slammed Swindon’s Labour MPs for failing to back Parliamentary moves to stop the ‘part-privatisation’ of Royal Mail. Chris Rye, branch secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), hit out at North Swindon and South Swindon MP’s Michael Wills and Anne Snelgrove, for refusing to block plans which will see 30 per cent of the Royal Mail bought by Dutch logistics company TNT.
Mr Rye, who represents 1,500 union members in delivery, processing and logistic offices throughout Wiltshire, said the duo provided ‘lame excuses’ of why they cannot sign the Early Day Motion – which has already been backed by 125 Labour MPs.
He added that many staff fear the move could lead to full privatisation and job losses. He said: “The pair of them said that they cannot sign the motion because they are either on the front bench or associated to it. Well it just doesn’t wash. It’s in the Labour manifesto that Royal Mail should not be privatised. I along with all my colleagues feel let down because we supported Labour in the last election based on these promises and now they are reneging on that. We feel as though we are not being supported or represented properly. I told everyone to vote Labour before, now I feel the fool.
This is our livelihood and we will revoke our support for the Labour party should this go through. At least the Tories came out and said they wanted to privatise Royal Mail – that is better than doing it through the backdoor.”
He added that for the past months the Royal Mail has made £255m profit.
Mrs Snelgrove said that she is planning a meeting with the CWU and would not sign the motion because she is linked to front bench ministers as deputy secretary to education minister Ed Balls and deputy to regional minister Ben Bradshaw.
“I have raised this with the Prime Minister, I responded to his email right away and explained why I don’t sign EDMs,” said Mrs Snelgrove. “I look forward to our meeting we will discuss it there. We have plenty of time to lobby, and before any of that happens I will be taking in the full views of the CWU.”
Mr Wills said: “There is a misunderstanding about what is being proposed. The Post Office is going to remain in public ownership. It is up to every individual to decide who they vote for, but I will be sorry they don’t vote Labour, I hope they weigh their options carefully. I am sorry he feels let down but I am sure he and everyone else would feel even more let down if we continue to allow the current situation to continue so that the Post Office is no longer viable in its present form.”
By Jeremy Grimaldi
Swindon Evening Advertiser