The union representing postal workers will not campaign against An Post’s decision to shut its Cork Mail Centre, despite the passing of a Dáil motion calling for a reversal of the closure.
Solidarity TD Mick Barry called on the Communications Workers’ Union to campaign for the retention of the centre in Little Island, after his motion calling on the Government to instruct An Post to keep the centre open was passed in the Dáil on Thursday.
However, the CWU declined to say, when asked by this newspaper, if it would campaign to keep the centre open and instead pointed to its effort to support the 235 people losing their jobs as a result of the closure.
Mr Barry said he will seek a meeting with the CWU: “If the Communications Workers’ Union were to change their position and switch from accepting the closure of the Cork Mail Centre to opposing it and fighting to save all the jobs they would now be able to point to the fact that the Dáil has overwhelmingly passed a motion opposing the closure.
I think that that would provide a real boost to a campaign. I would like to sit down with the union leadership and discuss the potential for such a campaign now in the aftermath of that vote.
Responding to Mr Barry’s comments in a statement, the CWU said it is happy to meet him or any Oireachtas member on the matter, and that it welcomes the Dáil debate “on the implications of the dramatic changes in the market for postal services”.
“These changes present difficult challenges for postal workers and their union, and in the case of the Cork Mail Centre, CWU will be ensuring that redundancies are voluntary and that staff are offered redeployment options within An Post or full severance terms,” the statement read.
“In advance of the final closure of the CMC in March 2020, the CWU will be on site and in negotiations with the company to ensure that all the issues are dealt with fairly and comprehensively by An Post.
"Since becoming aware of An Post’s intention to close the CMC, the CWU had agreed provisional arrangements to deal with the difficult situation facing their members at the Cork centre.
"An Post has assured the CWU that it will deal with the closure and its impacts on workers affected in a sensitive manner, and will work closely with the Union in addressing all issues which may arise,” said the CWU.
Asked specifically if it will oppose the closure and campaign to save the jobs, the CWU declined to respond further and referred to its statement.
Meanwhile, the Cork Council of Trade Unions has called for the decision to be reversed immediately: “This is yet another example of bias towards the Leinster region at the expense of decent jobs in our newly expanded city."