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Save our Royal Mail, say postal staff
9:30am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
POSTAL workers hoped to enlist thousands in their stand against the privatisation of Royal Mail over the weekend by asking people to petition their MPs.
Staff at Royal Mail House in Rowland Hill Close, Dorcan, handed out more than 2,000 postcards to passers-by in the town centre from 9am to 5pm on Saturday as part of efforts against plans to privatise the 500 year-old British institution.
These cards will be sent to local MPs Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson in an effort to draw attention to the number of people opposed to the plans.
Sandy Best, 47, of Upham Road, who has worked for the Royal Mail for 24 years and is the equality representative at the South West Number Seven branch of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), organised the event as part of the ongoing campaign.
“Privatisation would be devastating,” Sandy said.
“We believe at the moment we’re a public company and we’re a profit-making company, and all the profits go back into the service rather than into shareholders’ pockets. We believe it should stay in public ownership.”
Sandy began raising awareness of plans to float the Royal Mail on the stock market and sell on to private investors earlier this summer, with a stall at the Swindon & Wiltshire Pride earlier this month and at the Brunel Centre at the end of July.
Backed by her husband Colin, a delivery postman of 34 years, and several colleagues, Sandy hopes the public will support them in urging MPs to appreciate this is a public service doing well without private investment.
“The service we provide is a six-day-a-week service and we believe it’s a good service,” she said.
“At the moment you can post a letter to anywhere in the country for exactly the same price, but if it’s privatised it could mean posting things to Scotland could cost a lot more.
”People who live further away in the villages and countryside may also become isolated, and we don’t know who might be the face on the stamps.”
Among supporters who tended to the stall was Roman Cichosz, 48, of Gorse Hill, who is a health and safety officer and first aider with the Royal Mail.
Roman said: “It’s going quite well, quite a lot of people are signing up. People don’t want their post office to be broken off. It won’t be the same.”
Others who attended the stall were MP for South Swindon, Robert Buckland, and Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for South Swindon, Anne Snelgrove.
Anne, who attended the stall during the morning and canvassed on behalf of the movement, said: “It would be a huge mistake to privatise the Royal Mail. Put profit before service and we all lose out, which is what will happen under a privatisation.
“I don’t want to lose out on deliveries into Swindon or countryside areas. I want people in the villages around Swindon to have as good a service as we have at the moment.”
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