For our jobs, our security and our future – we need to vote YES


My name is Sharon Pratt and I work at Swindon Mail Centre and never in all my time working for Royal Mail have I ever felt so threatened, worried over my job and future – and that goes for my colleagues too!

The threat is made even more real when here in Swindon we have been chosen by Royal Mail under executive action to undergo a trial which would take any parcels bigger than a shoe box out of general delivery and delivered later in the day.  

Royal Mail seem to be pushing executive actions everywhere, along with RMTV being hi-jacked to be some kind of propaganda tool to push their agenda.

Share prices have dropped to a record low, cases of bullying by managers are going up, three parcel hubs that have come out of nowhere, and they have moved away from the Four Pillars!

They seem to be not bothered to take part in any form of meaningful negotiation and this has made our members and the rest of the work force confused, angry and scared for what lies ahead. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t even have to be like this, the Four Pillars was agreed under negotiation and was a work in progress.

It really saddens me to think the company that I have worked for 30 years has employed someone who says they want what’s best for the company, but has come in like a bull in a china shop and completely ignored all our protocols and, therefore, set us on an uncertain path for the future.

We see that there are modernisation changes ahead and that this is a pivotal year in Royal Mail, and generally we the staff can see this.

So, it makes it even more important than ever to work and negotiate with the union, to agree on the road ahead and keep to agreements, therefore, we can safeguard all our futures. But it seems as if our top company boss hasn’t got any experience in working with unions and it certainly shows.

This is not some fledgling company. This company is hundreds of years old and you have to take that into account when deciding how to implement changes that will affect everyone from the grass roots up.

Royal Mail used to be a place that offered a good quality and secure job. In fact, there are many people who like me have given decades of loyal service to this company, and we generally feel that we are being railroaded into executive decisions as a knee-jerk reaction to the drop in shares!

Yes, we need to plan for the future, yes, we need to make changes, but what we the workers don’t want is a loss of jobs, or a loss of workers’ rights, or of everything our union has negotiated in the Four Pillars agreement.

This was the agreement that we had in place and should have been honoured and seen through – not ripped up and thrown away!

I’ll be voting YES in the ballot and I recommend others do as well.

 Sharon Pratt is equality officer for South West No7 Branch and the South West Region BAME lead