Press Release – Postal Workers Union of Aotearoa

While finance minister Bill English says the Government does not intend to sell New Zealand Post, they are doing a very good job at trying to sabotage the state owned postal service, says Postal Workers Union spokesperson John Maynard.Union accuses Government of sabotaging New Zealand Post

Thursday 23 July 2015

“While finance minister Bill English says the Government does not intend to sell New Zealand Post, they are doing a very good job at trying to sabotage the state owned postal service”, says Postal Workers Union spokesperson John Maynard.

“Posties may be the only employees in New Zealand compelled to assist private companies to actively undermine the viability of their own employer. The National Government’s Postal Services Act 1998 requires posties to deliver the mail of private sector mail companies which do not have their own delivery network.

“The Government has also been consistently pressuring New Zealand Post to reduce its costs. The company’s response has included privatising Post Shops and reducing delivery services.

“To the marketing advantage of its private sector competitors New Zealand Post has also loudly proclaimed its delivery service reductions while at the same time quietly removing many hundreds of kerb side post boxes against strongly expressed objections from within local communities.

“We have just discovered this evening that the two post boxes outside the office of the Postal Workers Union in Wellington City were quietly removed sometime today.

“Like everyone else the Postal Workers Union is well aware of the changes in communication technologies, however the Union believes the company’s response is less about the economics of declining mail volumes and more about the ideology of privatisation.

“Having voted for the deregulation of the letter market while a cabinet minister, one of Bill English’s predecessors, ex finance minister Bill Birch, is on the board of a private sector mail company directly benefitting from the reduction in postal services by New Zealand Post.

“No one from the Government or New Zealand Post has denied the Union’s public statements that New Zealand Post is undergoing a process of “privatisation by stealth”. Neither has the CEO responded to an urging by the Union to assure posties that New Zealand Post is not being deliberately run into the ground.

“Bill English may also be doing some softening up as leaks from the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations reveal pressure from international corporates to try to obstruct state owned enterprises from competing with the private sector and stopping Governments from establishing new state owned enterprises. Saying that the Government “had no business being in business” Bill English appears to be parroting the TPPA agenda.

“Posties remain popular figures in the community as the front line of New Zealand Post but many are feeling increasingly embarrassed when asked by residents and business owners on their delivery rounds about service reductions. Many posties are also currently struggling with the complexities and lack of preparedness of the newly restructured delivery rounds which have been imposed on them.

“The Postal Workers Union continues to support an efficient, sustainable and accessible state owned postal service. Hundreds of millions of mail items a year are important to postal workers, their jobs and their service to the community, however the Government is not showing the same respect to those citizens and businesses who value receiving and sending mail”.

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