Monday, September 14, 2009

Post Office Industrial Action

Looks like the post service in Cambridge has stopped working - had the following from the City Council's post room:

"Due to industrial action at Royal Mail there is no incoming postal service today (14/09/09). Outgoing post will collected as normal from offices today, delays are expected in the delivery of these items."

The Communications Workers Union seem to have planned a series of stoppages, doubtless designed to cause maximum inconvenience to their customers at minimum cost to their members. They are also balloting nationally for a strike. I was surprised to hear the stoppage only started today - I haven't received any mail for days.

The Royal Mail is a nationalised industry, working in an area that has seen huge changes caused by new technology available to deliver information and by competition from companies working on a much more commercial basis, who live and die based on their ability to service their customer's needs. Yet the union thinks it is acceptable to resist changes to working practices, even if they are essential to improve the efficiency of the service, and then go on strike if they don't get their way. This type of behaviour should have gone out of fashion with flares and bankrupt Labour Governments in the 1970s - but some people just don't seem to learn from their mistakes.

My sympathy is with the many small local businesses who need to receive payments from customers or they will suffer cashflow problems, in an already challenging economic environment. Strike action like we have seen today is simply not an acceptable way of dealing with problems in the modern world.

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