TUC delegates have united behind postal workers' fight against the government's politically motivated plans for a full-scale privatisation of the Royal Mail writes Louise Nousratpour in Manchester for the Morning Star. Visit the Keep the Post Public campaign.

Communication Workers Union deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the union had launched local campaigns targeting vulnerable coalition MPs to persuade them to vote against the looming privatisation Bill or lose their vote at the next election.

It has drawn up a "hit list" of 71 Lib Dem and Tory MPs in seats where Labour is second with less than a 10 per cent swing away from winning.

"We will need your full support to execute this strategy," Mr Ward told delegates in Manchester.

The CWU motion, passed unanimously by delegates on the final day of Congress, followed the publication of Richard Hooper's updated report on the postal services sector last Friday.

Mr Ward dismissed the report yesterday as "a match-fixer" for a government hell-bent on privatisation.

He said: "It's not independent and talks down the prospect of the postal industry to justify the government's predetermined position.

"The Royal Mail is set up to fail as competitors have taken 60 per cent of its profitable business."

Mr Ward warned that privatisation would spell the end of universal postal access in Britain, cause the closure of hundreds of post offices and mean thousands more job losses.

A total of 62,000 postal jobs have disappeared in the past eight years and communities up and down the country have been fighting to keep their local post office open.

"We don't need privatisation to tackle issues of regulation and pensions," Mr Ward argued, adding: "Royal Mail has a fully funded, successful modernisation programme and the stability of a three-year agreement with the union and workforce."

Supporting the motion, Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke warned that TNT was keen to buy up Royal Mail.

"This is a company that threatened our members that, if they did not accept a 10 per cent pay cut, there would be mass job losses," he stressed as a sign of what could be in store for the future of postal workers and the service.

"This is an attack on our public services and we will resist it," he vowed to cheers.