Another Postal Workers Union strike begins today. More disruption. More unnecessary fallout for business and domestic customers. And almost certainly, more damage to the Royal Mail and the jobs the union itself is claiming it wants to protect.
The decision of the union to strike is suicide. The union leadership behaves as if their members work for a monolithic state monopoly where competition is not permitted and alternative providers of the service do not exist. Not that that should be an excuse for strikes and unrealistic claims anyway.
Wake up people! The Royal Mail has competitors which are taking away their best customers. For nearly two years now, the monopoly on the sorting and delivery of mail has been scrapped. And whilst no competitor has yet set up an alternative system of delivering mail through people's doors, it is the case that big customers have switched to rivals of Royal Mail to handle and sort their mail before it goes on to the Royal Mail for the final mile - the delivery from the depot to the door.
And that means Royal Mail's income is under threat. Competitors can provide a better and cheaper service as they are more automated and efficient. The Royal Mail however too often survives on antiquated equipment which requires higher levels of manpower. With the position of the Royal Mail already fragile, all that strike action will do is drive more customers to the rivals, causing further job losses in Royal Mail and undermining further the viability of the company and future employment opportunities for staff.
The liberalised mail delivery market is a good thing. It is right that there should be competition and choice in who sorts the mail, even if there is no competition yet on delivery through doors. The union needs to wake up to the real world rather than conducting a display of damaging 1970s style union macho postering that is riddled with antiquated political messages.
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