Why the postal dispute is a lose-lose for all concerned

Like most Londoners I have suffered an erratic postal service (or to be accurate: an even-more-erratic-than-usual postal service) as a result of the current dispute in the Royal Mail.  This has been inconvenient, but not as devastating for me as it apparently has been for Barbara Ellen, the Observer columnist, who writes movingly about the traumas of getting the invitations out for her daughter’s birthday party (and I thought some of my writing was self-indulgent).

However, once you have got over the urge to vomit, Barbara Ellen illustrates the dilemma for the postal workers.  The reason that the Royal Mail management wants to change working practices is because fewer and fewer important communications are being sent by post.  We all rely more and more on email, texts and the telephone.  Important documents are increasingly couriered.  The current dispute will make all of this worse, as people discover they can manage without using the postal service at all or – perhaps not even realising that there is a dispute going on – forsake the service because it appears even more unreliable.

The postal workers’ campaign is designed to remind us all how much we value our universal postal service and to force the Royal Mail management not to proceed with the changes in working practices.  The danger for them, as Barbara Ellen demonstrates, is that more people will give up on the post and that even the changes being pursued by the management will not save the service.  And the danger for the rest of us is that we really will lose the postal service, which although we may use it less than we used to, is still vital for many people.

3 thoughts on “Why the postal dispute is a lose-lose for all concerned”

  1. What a load of shite, frankly. The dispute is about this ‘Labour’ government and it’s plans for privatisation of the Royal Mail. It is about carving up it up and selling it off (probably via a management buyout) for a short-term profit. You know that this is what’s going on, anything else you might say is bluster. Show that you actually have some bollocks and stand up for what is right. It’s always been ‘them and us’, who’s side are you on?

  2. The Royal Mail made over £300million profit the last time I looked. As for the ‘proposed business model’, as far as I can see this includes getting rid of half the workforce, closing down practically every rural post office, halting deliveries in many of those same rural areas, forcing down wages (not for the top brass, of course, that never happens), forcing posties to work unpaid overtime, shutting down all the ‘unprofitable’ areas of the Royal Mail and hiking up charges for what’s left. For a so-called ‘Labour’ government (who are up to their necks in this dispute), all of this has an uncanny Thatcherite feel to it, which I guess shouldn’t surprise me with a snake like Mandelson pulling the strings. How the shower currently in government still have the audacity to call themselves the ‘Labour’ Party while orchestrating attacks against the very workers who fund their daily existence is beyond me and is an insult to the millions of workers and trades union members who created the party in the first place. I hope the CWU do the right thing and cease all financial contributions to the ‘Labour’ Party as soon as possible in response to this betrayal.

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