I will stand on the picket line, not because I can, but because I must

Ben AbramsA personal response to the RM strike ballot: I will stand on the picket line, not because I can but because I must

As the nation’s press pass comment on the recentannouncement that the CWU voted hugely in favour of industrial action, I reflect personally on the news. And I’m proud I was part of such a historic decision.

Let’s face it, It was no surprise, the grievous betrayal of not only the British public, but also the workforce, to privatise the Royal Mail, should be met with none other than the strongest contempt and opposition on all fronts. The decision was yet again an ideological misdemeanour from the Tory led government, a desperate move to fill the coffers of a failing Tory led economy, at yet again – the taxpayers’ expense.

In this blog, I write not of the ideological travesty that the government have forced upon the British public, not of the grievous propaganda from the Royal Mail Group throughout the weeks leading to this result in support of a “no” vote (equally as vile) and not of the blundered under-selling of the institution on the stock exchange, but of my own personal concerns over privatisation and what this means for my job, as a young worker in today’s frightening economic environment.

Let’s not be fooled, privatisation is bad. It’s bad for employees, bad for small business, and bad for the public. I believe privatisation is the beginning of the end of the universal service obligation without a doubt. What private investor would deliver to rural areas at the cost of shareholders profits?

I have been proud to work for the Royal Mail, as a public entity, delivering a service which no other private courier could dream to offer. Rural areas of the United Kingdom can thank the Royal Mail for being there 6 days a week. What would TNT do? 3 days a week at best? The private sector’s offering is in my view, a disgrace. But since the forced, unpopular and bludgeoned sale, how long can we expect the high level of service from the Royal Mail? Small business should fear this question.

I’m a fairly new addition to the Royal Mail Group. Young workers who secure full time employment are sadly becoming a rarity; I’d be lying to you if I was not concerned for my future. Why would privately owned Royal Mail care about the devoted and knowledgeable staff on its books? The only books it will care about are its reports to shareholders, profit, profit and more profit, at the expense of workers and the service to the public.

I voted yes in the recent ballot, unashamedly so. I want my employer to treat me with the respect and devotion I treat it and my customers. I want REAL Job security from unscrupulous investors. I want my pension to count! I want a pay rise that reflects the profits I have helped the company to deliver, not just since privatisation, but in the difficult years during modernisation. I want to be recognised not as an undervalued financial asset, but as a provider of a public service. I fear however, the real public, fail to realise the destruction of their postal service has well begun.

I don’t doubt for one second however, my fight for my securement of my employment rights will be dismissed by Moya, who openly asked for “Protections” from the workforce against industrial action. I want protections from our CEO, unscrupulous investors and the eventual demise of the Royal Mail I see coming. Where I am lucky to have full time employment, I seriously worry of my long term future. My ability to buy a car, a house or at the current rate of economic downfall, a toaster, is going to irrevocably affected thanks to privatisation.

I cannot in all good conscious stand by and do nothing, while the government and Royal Mail Group implode the well respected service. Hence why I will proudly stand on the picket line, not because I can but because I must.