These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

POST SERVICE APOCALYPSE

Printed in the Southern League Midland Division match v Woodford
United 3rd November 2009. We won 1-0, attendance 206.


Legendary Slough Town goal scorer Ian Hodge was one. Quite a few of
our die-hard supporters are too. Alan Johnson rose from the Slough
ranks to union official to Home Secretary. We are talking about postal
workers, and how their selfish actions are bringing the country to its
knees; infact civilisation is about to fall because we have to wait a
few extra days for our letters. Of course the fact that the universal
post service is cheap and reliable and that people in the countryside
get the same service as those in inner cities means nothing to those
that want to parcel it up to the highest bidder. Royal Mail and the
government want to break the union, cut peoples pay and conditions and
herald in a privatised, fragmented service. Just think of the
unreliable Slough bus service or the over-priced trains if you want to
see what prospects are in store if private companies take over the
Royal Mail.
Slough supporter and postie Damian told me “Royal Mail recently
announced that mail traffic was due to fall by 10% a year and to
counter this they were going to engage in a period of “modernization”.
The reality of this was that were going to lay off 30% of the
workforce, freeze pay indefinitely and engage in a period of Executive
Action which would see a posties workload increase between 30-40%. All
of this bypassed a previously negotiated agreement with the
Communications Workers Union.
Most of the general public seems to take the view that as they see
postmen in the bookies, on the golf course or in the pub every weekday
afternoon they don’t really work very hard anyway. Bear in mind that
most postmen start work between 5 and 6 in the morning and have to
work in all weathers usually without any sort of break. The nature of
the business is such that there are days which are very busy and days
which are quiet.
Not a single one of us wants to go on strike and lose money but
neither do we want to be exploited for poor wages while the guys at
the top continue to earn massive bonuses for what, they keep telling
us, is a failing company. A company in so much trouble that they
managed to make profits last year of ONLY £321 million.
Of course really Royal Mail is worried about the massive self
inflicted pension deficit not to mention their desperation to sell off
the loss making deliveries sector to the highest bidder. So for
Modernization read Privatisation. Try and send a birthday card to your
relatives in Inverness for 39p then.”
We hear never ending talk of broken Britain and the break down of the
family – then work the longest hours in Europe so people never get to
see their kids. Other political parties with their millionaire backers
and even richer MPs, claim we are all in this recession together.
Yeah, right. While 3,500 post offices are closed across the country
and public services must be cut to pay the price for banker’s greed,
bankers are once again giving themselves more bonuses this Christmas.
As for the boss of Royal Mail Adam Crozier, he has bumped up his own
wages from around £114,000 a year when he started in 2003 to over a
million quid today! As for the striking Slough Town posties; well the
least we can do is buy them a pre match pint to show our support and
let them know that a decent, universal postal service where posties
aren’t treated like dirt is something worth striking for.

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