On the last Friday before Christmas, I'm again visiting Middlesbrough Sorting Office to meet Post Office staff there.
It’s always a pleasure to meet staff in our local sorting office and I’m always amazed by the scope and scale of the operations there. We simply wouldn’t have Christmas without our posties!
Our postal workers do an incredible job handling the vast quantities of mail and parcels to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas. A post office is at the heart of every vibrant high street and rural community and this time of year shows just how much we depend on the service working well - which last year handled an incredible 138 million items.
It made no sense for the tory-led coalition in 2013 to sell off the Post Office, costing the taxpayer £1bn and the loss of 12000 jobs. Recent industrial action shows the overwhelming strength of feeling among postal workers and their Trade Union, the CWU, that they’ve had enough and that cutting jobs, wages and pensions is too high a cost in livelihoods for private shareholders to reap some £700m in dividends.
A future Labour Government will re-nationalise the Post Office and I will be telling the staff I meet tomorrow that I back their fight for fair pay and conditions and to bring an end the Scrooge-like mentality of their profit driven management.
I will also be wishing them all a very happy Christmas and thanking them for their hard work ensuring we all get our cards and presents in time for the big day.