“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Support

Strike Breaking At The Post Office.

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It gets worse and worse, now the Post Office management are considering how best to freeze out the CWU, reduce working conditions and make a packet for themselves, the Times reports:

“The Royal Mail is preparing to impose changes on its staff with the full backing of the Government, a leaked document revealed last night.

The disclosure came as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) confirmed that it was calling out 120,000 Royal Mail employees on a two-day strike, which it said was aimed at maximising disruption.

About 42,000 network drivers and mail centre staff are due to hold a 24-hour strike on Thursday, while on Friday 78,000 delivery and collection staff will walk out for 24 hours.

The CWU said that the Royal Mail’s refusal to negotiate over its modernisation plans and proposals to reform pay and working conditions had left it little choice. Dave Ward, the CWU deputy general secretary, said that it was “unbelievable” that the Government was not intervening in the long-running dispute. But an internal Royal Mail document suggests that it has full government support for implementing its plans without union agreement. The report also implies that if the CWU does not agree to the modernisation plans the Royal Mail will “serve notice” on its existing agreements with the union.

Written by modernityblog

15/10/2009 at 22:51

A Letter Explains All.

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A letter in the Times explains why there is a postal dispute in Britain and why the management are to blame for this poor state of affairs:

“Sir, I worked for Royal Mail (report, Oct 9) from 1975 to 1998, rising from postman to line manager. What the management wants to implement now were the practices that were in place then. It was management that changed, for efficiency reasons, to the practices they have today.

Postal staff sorting mail during the day would cover deliveries for sickness or holidays. Agency staff were only used at Christmas; all other shortfalls were covered in-house. Management cut these jobs.

Staff would work in a two or three-week rotation, delivering, sorting and collecting post, which made them flexible and multiskilled. Management split these into three separate departments, and staff had to choose which department to work in. There was no crossover and no flexibility. Part-time working in the early evening for sorting is ideal as the bulk of mail is collected from 5pm onwards.

Regarding a pension fund deficit, in some years Royal Mail made more than £200 million annual profit; all profits went to the Government. During this period the Government took a holiday of more than ten years from paying into the pension, as it said there was too much money in the fund. This contributed greatly to the present deficit.

In my time at Royal Mail it was estimated that it cost £18 to send a single letter from Southampton to Edinburgh. This was subsidised by the millions of letters delivered locally. If full privatisation of Royal Mail goes ahead, like the bus services and post offices, we will see the same problems arising in rural communities. People will have to collect their own mail from a central area simply because it will be too expensive to deliver, as the profitable areas that subsidised these deliveries will be creamed off by private companies.

K. Trumper
Southampton “

Update 1:
I missed this, but Royal Mail bosses got £10 million in bonuses:

“An investigation by The Independent on Sunday has revealed that Mr Crozier is not the only beneficiary of the company’s success in forcing through changes deemed “absolutely essential” by senior managers. Since 2002/3, Royal Mail Group has paid its executive board members – who typically number between four and six at a time – a total of more than £22m in salaries alone. But the executives received £10.7m in performance-related bonuses.

The bonus bill has risen from £616,000, shared between seven executives and the former non-executive chairman Allan Leighton in 2002/3, to £1.03m split by just four individuals last year.

Royal Mail made an operating profit of £321m in the year to 31 March, but it was the first time in 20 years that all four parts of the business had been profitable.

Geraldine Smith, the Labour MP leading the campaign against any privatisation of the service, said: “At a time when they are telling us how perilous the Royal Mail’s position is, they should not be taking millions of pounds out of the company. Anyone can make people redundant or cancel the second delivery.”

(H/T: Rubbish Royal Mail)

Written by modernityblog

14/10/2009 at 21:44

The Wider Picture And Post.

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The postal dispute in Britain can be a bit annoying. Not getting post for a few days and then lots of bills all come at once, but if you’re a postal worker it is a lot harder.

Postal workers in Britain do not make a lot of money, their work is boring, even if it is essential, and the management of the Post Office are renowned as bastards.

The Post Office management would gladly force all postal workers to do 16 hour days, for next to nothing, if they could get away with it. Thankfully Postal workers are not taking any of their crap, so have instigated selective strikes to bring the recalcitrant management back to the negotiating table.

In the meanwhile, I have been informed that action will be taken from 5th October 2009 at these locations:

“Strike action for week commencing 5th October 2009

Below is a list of postal strikes for the week commencing 5th October 2009. All action is for 24 hours unless stated otherwise.

Wednesday 7th October

Peterborough delivery office (DO) from 22:00

Thursday 8th October

Bristol mail centre
Peterborough DO

Friday 9th October

Burslem DO
Peterborough DO, until 22:00
London mail centres:
East London
London Airport Mail Unit
Mount Pleasant
South London mail centre

Network (logistics and van) drivers in:
Hatfield, Northern Home Counties
Leeds, North East Regional Distribution Centre
Warrington, North West Regional Distribution Centre
East London
Nine Elms, Vauxhall
Princess Royal Distribution Centre, North London

Saturday 10th October

Hadfield DO
Irvine DO
London-wide deliveries”

If the Postal workers do not succeed in this dispute, then working conditions will be worsened, skilled workers leave and an already poor service deteriorate even more.

It could eventually be privatised, which will mean increased prices and poorer service.

I urge all readers to support the Postal workers.

Written by modernityblog

04/10/2009 at 23:34