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Issue:- 22 July 2009

NW Postal Workers' Goodwill being Eroded by Macho Management

IN Delivery Offices up and down the North West postal workers are fed up with the hardline attitude of Royal Mail management who are unilaterally slashing jobs and reducing services we offer the public.

Royal Mail literally operates off the goodwill of their employees who regularly come in early, don't take meal breaks and use their own cars with no remuneration for doing so. In the meantime Royal Mail continually attack services, along with jobs, terms and conditions.

Whilst local managers have been awarded generous bonuses ranging from £9,000 to £4,000 postmen and women who earn well below the national average wage have been told that they don't deserve a pay rise this year, even though the company made over £300 million profit off their backs. Directors have also received fat bonuses to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Postal workers have now said enough is enough and are no longer willing to have their goodwill exploited and will no longer come in early, work over their time, and use their own cars for no remuneration whilst directors are laughing all the way to the bank.

Thousands of postal workers in the North West have also requested industrial action ballots. If Royal Mail continues not to adhere to the 2007 agreement which committed them to negotiating with the union on improving industrial relations, the future of Deliveries, Mail Centres, the Distribution Network and the full introduction of automation then this could lead to a full national dispute.

Carl Webb, NWU North West Regional Secretary said:- "The Company has failed to see the big picture and is implementing changes by executive action with narrow minded slash and burn savings without thought or negotiation then expect our members to pick up the pieces when the system grinds to a halt.

We have offered Royal Mail a three months no-strike deal if they fulfil their agreements to engage the CWU over modernisation and move the company to a sound footing for the future. This has so far been rejected which has led to the recent bout of industrial action which will soon spread to the North West."

Health campaigners slam “inadequate and cynical” alcohol industry campaign to tackle binge drinking

LEADING North West health campaign group Our Life has slammed a new campaign by the drinks industry to tackle binge drinking as a cynical PR exercise that won’t tackle the real causes of increasing alcohol harm and abuse.  Reacting to the launch of the £100-million ‘Why Let Good Times Go Bad?’ campaign by 45 companies involved in the production, distribution or sale of alcohol, Our Life chief executive Dr Alison Giles questioned the campaign’s potential effectiveness as well as its timing and the motivation of the companies behind it.

“Just what is ‘new’ about this alcohol industry-sponsored campaign? Sensible drinking messages have been pumped out continuously for more than a decade yet harmful and hazardous levels of drinking continue to increase. Could it be that lower prices and increased availability of alcohol have something to do with the big increase in binge drinking? Pushing all responsibility onto individuals is an inadequate response to tackling a serious problem and an abrogation of responsibility from an industry that still sells cider cheaper than bottled water,” said Dr Giles.

On the same day that the heath select committee in Parliament was taking evidence in its alcohol inquiry from the chief medical officer and with government currently contemplating a new code of conduct for alcohol retailers, Dr Giles questioned the timing and motivation of the drinks industry’s campaign. Dr Giles said:- “Public pressure is building for action to be taken to stop irresponsible alcohol promotions and one can’t help thinking that the industry is trying to use this campaign as a smokescreen to forestall any meaningful action being taken against them. From a public health perspective, it cannot be right that it is the same companies who bombard us with cheap alcohol promotions at every turn that are also advising the public on alcohol harm and responsibility."

Our Life has recently launched a region-wide campaign calling for a big show of support from members of the public and health and public sector professionals to back government plans to curb irresponsible alcohol promotions. “We want to send a strong message to the government that people want to see urgent action taken to tackle the rising unhealthy drinking culture in our region and nationwide.  Until we stop bombarding people with ludicrously cheap drinks promotions and irresponsible advertising, then industry-backed initiatives like this will appear as a cynical gesture to many,” said Dr Giles.

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