22 October 2009
Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, today promised to "lobby at every level" in order to support striking postal workers and accused the Government of effectively "dismantling" Royal Mail with its ongoing programme of privatisation.
In a strongly worded letter to the Communication Workers Union - released this afternoon - Lucas, who is also the Green Party candidate for Brighton Pavilion, accused the Government of "ill-serving" workers and the UK public alike and criticised the Government for its "shameful privatisation of public services" which has led to "increased marginalisation and inequalities in terms of public access to services".
The move comes as the row over today's first postal strike escalated, with Gordon Brown calling upon the strikers and Royal Mail to "get around the table" to end the industrial dispute and the Tories attacking Labour for failing to deal with the crisis.
Several Brighton and Hove Green Councillors will be joining the picket line in central Brighton tomorrow (Friday).
In the letter to CWU Secretary Bill Hayes, Caroline Lucas says: "In our view, Royal Mail workers and management have been on a collision course since the private sector has been forced on the service. By removing profitable parts of the business for the benefit of speculators and investors, the Government has created an environment in which the interests of the population of the UK as a whole have been ill-served, none more so than your members. It is shameful that a Labour Government should have played such a role in the privatisation of public services, and in a way which has increased marginalisation and inequalities in terms of access to services."
"It is especially concerning that this Labour Government is not content with overseeing the dismantling of this vital service, but now appears to be colluding with Royal Mail management to undermine the rights of the Union and its representatives, and condoning the side-lining of the CWU in working towards the completion of the agreement from the last period of industrial action."
The Green Party leader offered the CWU the Green's full support in the coming days, stating that "...we hope that any action is swift and positive in its results. As we did two years ago, we will lobby at every level to support the CWU cause."
Lucas used the letter of support to draw attention to the fact that in Brighton and Hove during previous industrial action: "Green Party members and our active Trade Union Group joined the CWU on the picket line, Green councillors promoted your case, including getting Brighton and Hove Council to support your action, and we publicly backed your position."