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Postal Workers Union calls for Parliamentary Enquiry

Following Friday's release of NZ Post's annual financial report the Postal Workers Union calls for Parliamentary Enquiry

Following Friday's release of NZ Post's annual report the Postal Workers Union wants a Parliamentary Enquiry into what it calls the sabotaging of the publicly owned letter delivery network.

At Friday's presentation of NZ Post's annual report Post's CEO said that the private companies' cherry picking of mail is "just the way it is". However the Postal Workers Union says that in fact "just the way it is", is the Government's sabotaging of NZ Post's letter business.

NZ Post has been required by the National Party Government's Postal Services Act 1998 to subsidise private companies while the private companies are permitted to "cherry pick" the most profitable sections of NZ Post's letter market. Posties are compelled to carry the mail of private mail companies, assisting and subsidising those private companies as they develop their own network. The Union says this is privatisation by stealth.

While the Postal Workers Union is well aware of the changing patterns of communications the response by NZ Post is less about the economics of mail decline and more about the ideology of privatisation.

The union has also been challenging the varying and what it believes to be the dubious reasons being given by NZ Post for its unpopular programme of the mass removal of road side posting boxes. When NZ Post said the removal of posting boxes in New Plymouth was because of the cost of "sending out a van" to clear road side posting boxes they had never responded to the union's repeated proposal that for minimal cost posties could clear the posting boxes as they passed them every day during their delivery rounds.

John Key was last week in Upper Hutt urging people to exercise a postal vote in the flag referenda. However already more than 1300 posting boxes have been quietly removed throughout the country by NZ Post trying to meet his Government's demands to maintain its dividend flow to the Government and to cut costs. NZ Post appears to be too ready to oblige - reducing mail deliveries, taking longer to get mail across town, selling NZ Post House, privatising Post Shops, removing posting boxes and next it may well want to contract out the jobs of posties.

Reflecting opposition to the running down of NZ Post reported in community newspapers, letters to the editor throughout the country and the public service culture of posties, the Postal Workers Union continues to campaign for a publicly owned, efficient, sustainable and accessible postal delivery network.

Meantime the Union is awaiting a response from its letter to NZ Post board chair Sir Michael Cullen seeking a meeting to discuss the Union's concerns including that NZ Post is in breach of the State Owned Enterprises Act by not " having regard to the interests of the community in which it operates ...".

ENDS

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