Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strike out of Time

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Strike out of Time

Article excerpt

THERE IS AN air of unreality to the latest troubles at Royal Mail, which now faces a possible national strike this autumn by members of the Communications Workers' Union. Royal Mail is offering workers 14.5 per cent over 18 months, of which 10 per cent is dependent on job losses and improvements in productivity. The union objects to these "strings". Yet neither side seems to understand how out of touch they both are. Both the industrial relations environment and the postal industry have changed since the postal unions' 1970s glory days.

Today the CWU's anger at Royal Mail Chairman Allan Leighton writing about the offer directly to its members - his employees - looks outdated, as does its objection to pay rises being tied to productivity. And Royal Mail seems to be unaware that consumers' expectations of public services have risen too.

The reality of this public service in many parts of London is deliveries towards lunchtime, missing post, and theft so rife that banks have to use couriers to send credit cards. …

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