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On National Postal Workers' Day, let’s create a new normal

DAVE WARD on why we should support our postal workers

Today is National Postal Workers’ Day. Firstly, I want to thank the readers of the Morning Star for always supporting postal workers and key workers — long before it became mainstream.
 
Our members have done an incredible job during this crisis, in often very difficult conditions. Fighting not only the risks of coronavirus but an employer who refuses to work effectively with their union.
 
This crisis is highlighting what many of us have always known – it’s not the city speculators or hedge funders that keep this country moving – it’s the nurses, bus drivers, telecom engineers, call centre workers and posties.
 
When we come out of the other side of this there needs to be a revaluing of how workers in the UK are seen and recognised.
 
We will not go back to “normal” – we will create a new normal.
 
The privatisation of Royal Mail was one of the biggest injustices in recent times. A nation robbed of a huge asset, and workers cast aside in the chase for profit. A combination of postal workers refusing to follow the typical privatisation path and this crisis have changed the landscape.
 
Postal workers and CWU members can be so proud. We have defended jobs, terms and conditions and our culture. In many ways the union is stronger now than ever. Our traditional strength of workplace meetings has been mixed with the best of modern forms of communications to deliver a special bond between the union and its members which cannot be broken.
 
Moreover, the coronavirus crisis has seen people fall in love with their postie all over again. We have witnessed our members in fancy dress to cheer young children, helping the elderly and vulnerable with the shopping and once again playing a pivotal role in local communities.
 
Our union has a vision for a modern Royal Mail – at the heart of every community, delivering new products and becoming the national network with a local heartbeat that is always used to be.
 
We rarely get to celebrate workers in this country. This week is different. Yesterday we stood in silence on Workers Memorial Day. Today we thank our postal workers and on Friday we have May Day.
 
The green shoots are there for the movement to grow again following this crisis but it will only happen if we are brave. It will only happen if we make it clear workers will not pay for this crisis. It will only happen if unions are prepared to drive for a new model of collectivism in the UK.
 
Postal workers will set the example for us all on solidarity, community spirit and trade unionism.
 
Today, take the chance to thank them – either at a safe distance or on social media using #PostalWorkersDay

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