News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Beginning of the End for Royal Mail

News that Amazon UK, the Royal Mail's second largest customer, has cancelled its contract with the service and that other large businesses are likely to follow, surely represents a watershed for the troubled postal service.

It's easy to blame those on strike for Amazon's wihdrawal, but the reality is that if you and I were faced with the probability of losing our jobs due to modernisation, we would take whatever action we felt necessary to protect ourselves and our families.

The chances that Amazon's defection (to the privately-owned Home Delivery Network) will cause Royal Mail bosses to concede to the demands of their striking postal workers are remote. The fact is that, while no-one in the Royal Mail wants to see the business collapse, those who will be most hurt if it happens will be the rank and file workers. Those at the top of the pile will walk way with their cash bonuses intact. In 2007, for instance, the then chief exectuiive of Royal Mail earned a £370,000 bonus in addition to his annual salary. Such is the so-called free market.

For an insight from the sorting office, check out this fascinating letter from a serving postman which challenges the often-heard claim that quantities of post in Royal Mail are down year on year.

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