UNI Europa postal and logistics conference

Lee FishwickLee is the current President of the UNI Europa Youth Steering Group and was invited to speak at the recent UNI Europa postal and logistics conference in Portugal. Here is his report.

Last week I got the opportunity to be part of the CWU delegation to theUNI Europa postal and logistics conference.

The conference took place in Evora Portugal, with over 200 postal trade unionists from 21 European countries coming together for the 3 day conference. The conference was based around the future of the postal and logistics industries and looked at how privatisation and delegislation is impacting the postal services, and how unions can work together to help safeguard the postal services and protect its members around Europe in this industry.

I found this conference to be really interesting because it gave me a greater insight into what is going on with other postal services within Europe, and how other unions are doing their best to look after their members

It’s just not just Royal Mail that is going through privatisation – many countries in Europe are suffering the same thing. It also shows me that we can learn a lot from our European colleagues as some unions have already had the fight we are now having against privatisation.

As part of the conference I got to take part in a protest against the privatisation of the Portuguese post CCT. It was good to get to go out to the centre of Evora and see that the Portuguese people are against the privatisation of their postal service as much as the people of the UK, with many locals taking to the streets with us.

Uni Europa Youth LogoI also was given the chance to speak at the conference as the president of UNI Europa youth about what threats and changes young members are facing and what unions can do to help them.

I used the speech to tell unions that the youth members from around Europe are concerned and worried about their postal services and want to do all they can to save it – but they need to be given more of a voice to do this. I also asked conference to try and get more young members to the next conference. It was noticeable that at a conference about the future of postal services, there were only 2 or 3 young members in a room of 200 activists.

Overall I found the experience a good one: I got to learn a lot about what is going on in other postal services and that it is not just the UK that is going through this hard time. The whole of the postal service in Europe is going the same way, but if all the unions work together, we certainly stand more of a chance of saving a postal service in Europe that operates in the interests of its customers, not to make a profit at the expense of decent jobs and a decent service.