29 October 2009 Edition

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Striking posties in Derry visited by Sinn Féin MLA

Martina Anderson with striking postal workers

Martina Anderson with striking postal workers

SINN FÉIN Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has said failure to reach a resolution in the dispute between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union will cause serious financial burdens for  postal workers and their families and could have devastating consequences for small businesses in Derry and across the North.
Her call comes after meeting with postal workers and union officials on the picket line at the Great James Street Sorting Office during last Friday’s protest
Martina Anderson said:
“I spoke to union officials and met staff on the picket line at the sorting office during Friday’s protest and they were very angry that things had got to this stage and that some sort of interim resolution could not have been found at the last minute.
“Many are worried about what the next few weeks will hold if there is an escalation in the strike, particularly leading up to Christmas, and the financial burden this will place on them and their families. They are fearful of going behind in mortgage payments, HP on cars and not being able to keep up with the general costs of day-to-day living.
“There needs to be an immediate meeting between the CWU and Royal Mail. I understand CWU officials have written to Mark Higson, Royal Mail managing director, and said they are available for meaningful negotiations to avoid further strike action which they believe would help restore customer confidence at a crucial time for the business while also addressing outstanding problems such as job security, work levels and other issues.”
The Foyle MLA said she is fearful that if this dispute is not resolved and there is an escalation in  industrial action in the weeks leading up to Christmas, everyone will lose: Royal Mail will lose millions in revenue and contracts  and  postal workers in Derry will be losing wages which no worker can afford in this day and age.
The public and business community in Derry and across the North will also be severely hit with disruption to postal services, she said.
“So it’s of paramount importance that there is a resolution to this dispute and that both sides can come to an agreement around the issues of modernisation, protection of jobs and pay levels as soon as possible.”

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