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Today is National Postal Workers’ Day 2020 – it’s the special day each year when we ask the whole nation to come together to show their thanks and appreciation of the UK’s army of postmen and women, who collect, process, distribute and deliver to every address in the UK six days a week and 52 weeks a year.
The CWU, which represents some 110,000 postal workers in this country, launched National Postal Workers Day (NPWD) several years ago, and this year, it takes place in the midst of this terrible Covid-19 public health crisis.
Our members are working harder than ever to keep our nation posted and to make sure that the essential items everyone needs are delivered to them safely at home.
Our delivery offices, mail and parcel processing centres, Parcelforce depots, distribution networks, engineers and admin staff are all reporting extremely high volumes and a daily struggle to keep this huge operation going.
We also remember our members working in the Post Office, who are also key workers keeping our national postal system running.
Our CWU representatives, at unit, area, branch, divisional, regional and national levels, continue to work their collective socks off with their exhaustive efforts to keep everyone safe.
Although National Postal Workers Day is normally celebrated during the pre-Christmas period, we, as a union, thought it appropriate to move National Postal Workers Day to this week - a week when we also commemorate brave frontline workers in all sectors of the economy who have lost their lives on duty (on Workers Memorial Day) and when we pay tribute to the struggles for justice of workers everywhere (on May Day).
Being a postal worker and a CWU member means being part of a very special family, so we are devastated by the tragic loss of some of our members who have succumbed to the Covid-19 virus.
Our hearts and thoughts go out to them, their loved ones and their colleagues, and to any of our members battling this illness.
And please, let’s not forget that this union has for over two years been in dispute with Royal Mail Group for over two years, fighting to protect the very vital service everyone is now praising during this crisis.
The irony is that if it was not for the stand made by the CWU and postal workers, this vital service would not exist now – privatisation and greed would have wrecked it in the last five years.
This crisis has woken people up to how crucial the postal service is and so, coming out of this crisis, we will return to our fight to stop the current Royal Mail chief executive’s plan to maximise profit, split up this Great British company, allow the six-day universal service to every address in the UK at uniform price to perish, tear up our mutual-interest agreements, close down local delivery and processing units, slash jobs and smash up this wonderful, iconic and unique public service, and only concentrate on parcels.
The current Royal Mail chief executive, Rico Back, and any likeminded people are totally the wrong people at the wrong time. We need business and public service leaders, people who ‘get it’, people who understand that Royal Mail Group is part of the fabric of the social and economic life of our nation and must be preserved, invested in and built upon.
We have a chief executive who has no interest in protecting, let alone developing and growing this essential public service. He and his team must go and new thinkers with the right intentions brought in.
One thing is for certain, the CWU and its members will continue to fight for this great public service with everything we have.
So, on National Postal Workers Day, please look out for your local postman or postwoman, give them a friendly wave, a cheerful message and show them today that you appreciate them and the fantastic work they do.
If you post out a message yourself on facebook or twitter, please use the special hashtag #PostalWorkersDay
Terry Pullinger DGSP
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