Postal Strike - The Two Faces of Government (October 11th 2007)
North Thanet`s MP, Roger Gale, has this (Thursday) Morning accused Brown`s Government of taking a two-faced approach towards the postal workers` industrial action.
Speaking following question time in the Commons the MP said:
"Yesterday the Prime Minister said that postal workers should get back to work and call off their strike. Today the Secretary of State, John Hutton, said in one answer that the strike should be called off and that the postal workers should accept the deal on offer and then, a couple of questions later, said that the government wanted negotiation and a fair settlement. It was an absolutely brazen case of a minister trying to look two ways at once and it demonstrates clearly that the government is not in control of this crisis.
And it really is a crisis - for postal workers who do not know if their jobs and pensions are secure and for the millions of ordinary people and the thousands of small businesses that rely upon the Royal Mail for their very survival.
We have, on the one hand, a neanderthal trades union leadership that seems determined to take the Royal Mail down the Scargill route to oblivion and on the other hand an over-paid and arrogant executive who clearly holds his workforce in contempt and refuses to recognise that they have very real concerns.
Then there is the Government.
Once again, Brown is dithering. The Government is the shareholder in both Royal Mail and Post Office Limited. The Government could and should intervene. We have been told just how marvelous the Prime Minister is at dealing with crises but the fact of the matter is that, to date, he has shown no leadership at all and seems content to allow Royal Mail and the businesses and people that depend upon it, to go to hell in a handcart".
Post Office Closures
Earlier in the exchanges Roger Gale also called upon Ministers to withdraw the programme of Post Office closures pending the development of new business opportunities for them.
"Ministers seem careless of the very real social impact that this fresh round of closures will have in deprived areas" said the MP. "There are alternatives, put forward by the federation of sub-postmasters, that would help to rebuild the business in the post office outlets but it seems as though government and management actually want to shut them down."