The fifth National Postal Workers Day on Monday celebrates the hard work and commitment of the people who collect, sort and deliver Britain’s postal service and the vital role they play in supporting local communities.
Held on one of the busiest mail traffic days of the year prior to Christmas, when tens of millions of letters, parcels and packets pass through the system, National Postal Workers Day aims to recognise postal workers for their effort and dedication in delivering a vital service.
To mark the day, the CWU is asking the public and the nation to think of their postmen and postwomen and thank them for the work they do, all hours and in all weathers, delivering mail six days a week, every week of the year.
National Postal Workers Day is about showing proper appreciation for the work they do, the vital service they provide to the public and the social role they play supporting our local communities.
The universal service obligation (USO) requires a daily delivery to every one of the UK’s 29 million addresses, 52 weeks a year, at a guaranteed uniform price.
Postal Workers Day is therefore about recognising and thanking postal workers for delivering such an important, cherished public service
It also recognises that postal workers do much more than deliver the mail, they regularly go the extra mile to serve the communities they deliver to all year round and keep an eye out for the vulnerable and elderly.
They are the eyes and ears of the local communities and many play the role of Good Samaritan, helping people and customers they encounter while out on their daily deliveries.
But Britain’s postal service is being threatened by privatisation, unfair regulation and rigged competition.
Instead of supporting the USO and the people who deliver it, the government has instead embraced a free-market ideology which has damaged the very fabric of the country and threatens the future of the USO and the jobs, pay and conditions of our members.
In response, the CWU’s People’s Post campaign aims to protect the USO and the people who deliver it.
This campaign is about protecting decent jobs and conditions and ensuring that every postal worker is paid a decent wage with good terms and conditions of service that properly reflects their hard work, commitment and dedication.
All postal workers, whichever company they work for, should be paid a decent wage with good terms and conditions and we reject Ofcom’s idea of a race to the bottom.
The recent legal rulings on Uber and “gig economy” workers have exposed the extent of exploitation in the unregulated parcels sector and the need to outlaw bogus self-employment and poverty pay rates.
The CWU will be using National Postal Workers Day to highlight the huge differences in pay and conditions across the sector and the need to tackle casualisation.
• Terry Pullinger is deputy general secretary of the Communication Workers Union.