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Royal Mail Postal Workers Start 48-Hour Strike

     
2:21 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Royal Mail workers have started the first of two 48-hour walkouts in a protest over pay and fears of job cuts.
After last-minute talks between Royal Mail managers and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) failed to reach a deal, the strike started at noon.

A second two-day strike by the CWU's 130,000 members is scheduled to begin at 0300 BST on Monday, 8 October.

Royal Mail Postal Workers Start 48-Hour Strike [news.bbc.co.uk]

Competition in the UK will only get stronger and the Royal Mail will only get weaker, not just as a result of this strike, it will only hasten its demise, imho.

3:04 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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This whole thing is engineered 'to prove' the Royal mail isnt capable of doing the job of delivering letters. Hence we 'need' more private delivery firms.

While the RM isnt perfect problems always start at the top of a firm and come on down.

3:06 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with you Essex_boy - the RM is the essence of a public service, so running it into the ground is the only sure way of making it fully available to the private sector without too many complaints...
4:25 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Here we go again. The Unions are truly stuck in a self defeating timewarp.

Experiences with the last strike, and possible alternative services in the UK:
[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: Bjorn_Iceland at 4:26 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

4:42 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Just today I had a conversation with a supplier that went, "Yes, please, send it for Monday. Uh ... better send it by courier because it'll be stuck in the post for a week."

I'm sure there are rights and wrongs on both sides, but if the unions are as obstructive to new technology as they were in commercial TV 20 years ago, to the long-term disbenefit of their members as well as the employer, then the RM will go to the wall while the minnows get everything working slick, but not as comprehensively. The RM gets many things right, so we have a lot to lose.

When the RM fails to deliver 10% of my mail (I'm fairly sure it gets dumped over a wall somewhere, maybe when our regular postie is not doing the round) there is in practice no accountability at all. I got a courier's ass fried by very senior management when he messed me about recently by contrast.

The real problem with the combination of big unions in public service is that the public get a mediocre service with no redress and the union leadership is entirely self-serving. To the point where the Labour Party dare not unwind Thatcher's legislation because of all the terrible behaviour it would engender...

I watched all this as a kid, and it drove my politics firmly to the right of my parents' (though probably still well to the left of much of the US)!

Rgds

Damon

[edited by: DamonHD at 4:45 pm (utc) on Oct. 4, 2007]

4:54 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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woo hooo no bills for two days.
5:15 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>woo hooo no bills for two days.

And no cheques, either.

The whole sitution is a sorry one. I feel for every job that will be lost, and they will be lost.

I am concerned for the remote parts of the UK that get a pretty good service, considering their distance from the metropolis. Along with the Royal Mail bus service in those parts. They will be hit and won't be restored by the young upstart businesses.

I hope that many workers can move over to the new businesses that will, for sure, grow.

5:23 pm on Oct 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Yes, someone needs to carry the universal service obligation, but not at unnecessary inefficiency and cost to everyone.

At the end of the day I hope that RM will survive with the good parts of its ethos intact.

But remembering what happened when I was a kid, I'm not entirely hopeful.

Change is painful, but there isn't any reasonable alternative...

Rgds

Damon

10:37 am on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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More to the point, if you sell online and offer Royal Mail as a shipping option, what are you saying to your visitors? Are you still taking orders with Royal Mail shipping?
4:20 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Is anyone else seeing a sales impact, we certainly are over here, same traffic, very low sales!
7:34 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Its not the unions they have been willing to discuss a way forward when they thought they had one, the management refused to deal with them and walked out of talks. (BBC news last night).

The problem with mail vanishing stems from employing foreign temps in the sorting offices - I speak having seen it.

7:41 pm on Oct 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am US but I would say the

Royal Mail

has created a

Royal Mess

9:17 am on Oct 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Engine. This current strike will only be the nail in the coffin for RM.

If small businesses don't get paid (cheques not being delivered), they have to lay people off. These will be the job losses. When the rolling strikes start and the backlog can't be lowered, we're going to have hundreds of small businesses going bust because they're payments are in the post, potentially in a backlog somewhere maybe having been there for weeks!

I'm surprised the government hasn't intervened because the economy will undoubtedly suffer.

I know one person who has bought tens of thousands of pounds worth of stock for halloween. They're looking at the possibility of not being able to sell / dispatch their products.

How will these rolling strikes affect Christmas? Will businesses (thinking internet here) be forced to increase delivery charges and go with courriers or persevere with RM? Should the business decide to subsidise the courrier option? What will this mean for Christmas sales, profit from Christmas?

A very worrying time for all in the UK - known by all or not.

9:01 am on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi

We are down 50% becuse of the strike, we are now offering a courier service at cost and still the sales are down 50%
mail order is very tough at the minute and no one trusts royal mail anymore.
Other postal companies are much needed indeed.

Bek.
:(

12:20 pm on Oct 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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While i understand the grief from the strike i most certainly wouldn't wish privatization of the mail system on you, that would be a downright disaster.
3:40 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We are down 50% becuse of the strike, we are now offering a courier service at cost and still the sales are down 50%

Anyone else seeing a downturn? Sales on one site were holding up last week even though we had a prominent notice informing users that delivery was via Royal Mail and that there may be delays. This week, though, sales are down but more interesting is that traffic appears to be slumping too. AdWords impressions down 20% compared to last week. Has the strike scared off customers from all e-commerce sites, even those that don't use RM? We have three other sites, none of which use RM and all have prominent notices saying so, yet sales and traffic down for these sites too in past two days.

Maybe too early to tell whether the figures are flukes, seasonal, or related to the dispute. But I really hope its not the latter, a lengthy dispute could be costly for us all if it affects confidence in online shopping.

4:00 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I have a number of items trapped somewhere in the mail and have no idea when they might be delivered.

I don't intend to order any more mail-order (via standard post) and have already gone to buy from bricks and mortar stores, only because I can't be sure when i'm going to receive the order.

Last week I sent some cheques via special delivery and they got through, albeit delayed.

Clearly, special delivery is being given priority or ver standard mail.

4:01 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Interestingly our Octobers are always lower in sales.

Could be the economy (due to interest rates), could be Royal Mail, could be credit card statements from holidays, could be a mixture of all three and much more.

4:02 pm on Oct 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Engine, I believe the RM Managers are personally handling Special Deliveries. They were the only ones "guaranteed" to get delivered.
11:46 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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coultog, I think you're right. Someone's trying!

Today, I received an e-mail from one of my postal subscribed magazine's and they informed me of disruption to the next issue's delivery and that they were doing their best to minimise delays.

At least they are communicating!

11:51 am on Oct 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Theres a good article in the Telegraph today that take an historic look over the management of the Royal Mail and how it really isnt fit to manage.
 

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