5 Nov 2009

Remove the Rose Tinted Glasses of the Postal Strike Propaganda

The ongoing postal strikes have been sent to the side columns of the Nationals and I would doubt raise a title in the tabloids, but I think it is an exceptionally sad situation.

The summary of the case is now;

"At the heart of the dispute is union concerns over the extent of job cuts, and conditions for staff who remain."[IBID]

Instead of millions of people joining the public outrage over working conditions reduced to such meagre standards that it breaches several employment law legislatures, the issue is being shelved in the hope it will simply go away.

I am not being a sentimentalist "golden era" enthusiast. I do not know my postman's name. But I would support his right to keep his job, his pension, not be forced to work additional unpaid hours, not be subject to ludicrous demands and nonsensical modernisation concepts such as electric trolleys and his right to maintain a service that people rely on.

Royal Mail has always been one of the employers that encourages flexible working, works well with working parents and disabled persons and has a wonderful sense of employee institution that we value in Britain. Now, like a morally inept TUPE transfer, they want the postal workers to stop flexible working, make it a 9-5 job and combine all the part time posts into full time posts to save money. While shelling out on inefficient managerialisation and bureaucracy a Thatcher government would be proud of.

I adore the internet, I rarely write letters and I am often guilty of not opening envelopes I know are bills but I still like getting post. I do not want electronic mailing systems for everything. Paperless livelihoods that are futile when orange juice goes on the computer, or requires you to print the item when you need it as evidence anyway.

I have never understood why Royal Mail didn't enter contracts with the major supermarkets to run offices there. This would allow the majority of customers to get to them, in convinience and I am sure promote the ever growing range of services Tesco et al supply. It would also continue with collections and deliveries, and the service industry that for all our love of consumerism, we still depend on.

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