Lord Mandelson wont sit down with santa
13th October 2009
... Comments

It would now seem absolutely inevitable that this Christmas we are going to see the Postal workers and the communications unions embarking on a series of nationwide strikes. Pressies will not arrive and Chrimbo cards are going to get stuck in an already messy postal pipeline still recovering from a spat of regional wild cat strikes, but how has it all led to this. Well guess what our old mate mandelson, just back after a few years in the political wilderness eating berries and nuts has a part to play you wont be too surprised to hear. So below is a breif explanation of where it has all gone wrong;

How did the dispute start?

In 2007 Royal Mail suggested a radical modernisation to update practices in sorting offices and delivery rounds, which involved more flexible working and computerised equipment to cut down manual labour. After a series of national strikes the CWU reached a deal with Royal Mail including a 6.7 per cent pay rise over two years. But the two sides now dispute what was agreed and the deal has unravelled. The unions are resisting job losses, pension cuts and more flexible working.

What does management want?

Royal Mail wants postal workers to cover for each other on holidays and when people are off sick, rather than having to hire agency staff. In the summer months they want workers to deliver on a couple of extra streets. They also want postmen and women to be able to swap between jobs where necessary so sorters can deliver or collect mail. Managers want to introduce more part-time employees and are investing £2 billion in new equipment in the next two years to sort mail more quickly, which will jeopardise jobs.

What does the union want?

It claims that it has not been fully consulted on changes and wants to negotiate a new agreement. The CWU is also demanding reassurances that there will be no compulsory redundancies and a binding ratio of full-time to part-time workers. They want “better rewards” if they agree to management demands and are resisting attempts to make postmen and women carry heavier workloads or walk more quickly along streets.

Is there any chance of stopping the national strike?

Further negotiations between the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union take place today but it seems unlikely that either side is ready to move much. The prospect of a series of strikes over the winter will be highly damaging for Labour so ministers will be pushing for an early settlement.

What is the future for the Royal Mail?

Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, who has declined to intervene in the dispute so far, recently shelved his proposal to privatise 30 per cent of the Royal Mail. This followed a backlash from Labour backbenchers and failure to find a buyer. The Tories have yet to spell out their plans but it is widely expected that they will push for total or partial privatisation of Royal Mail to help to sort out the mess.

What do Print Hut think;

Simples; Now that part deregulation has had the desired effect of increasing competition, reducing postal costs for bulk mailers and increasing product variations, the government should now go the whole hog and totally deregulate the Uk postal market. Then we will see competition at work wouldn't we. What if Print Hut went on strike, but do you think might happen to our customer base - simples!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

About the Author

frank g

Member since: 14th October 2011

Frank Golden's mission is simple; to ensure all his Print Hut's printed products are worth more to Print Hut's customers than they will cost AND able to clearly demonstrate this!!

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