Royal Mail strike

Compass have commissioned a poll from YouGov asking about the postal strike. 60% of respondents agreed with the suggestion that the government should set up an independent review into how the Royal Mail should be modernised, 55% thought Lord Mandleson should be more involved in solving the stand off and 55% said that the government should force the unions and management to go to ACAS.

The Guardian reports this as putting “blame on government”. Unless there are other questions that haven’t specifically been mentioned, it doesn’t. It says people would like the government to be more active in trying to solve it. The polls conspicuously doesn’t ask who is to blame, or whether the public think postal workers are right to strike.

21 Responses to “Royal Mail strike”

  1. I agree. Did some at the Guardian hear of this survey and write the headline before they’d seen the results? Or even the questions?

    And anyway, Compass’ chair, Neal Lawson, writes regularly for the Guardian; couldn’t they have given the write-up to him, since he commissioned it?

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  3. Where I work it was the threat of the strike that gave the idea that all customers should be contacted (several hundred & all B to B) to see if they would be happy to accept email and/or fax invoices & statements.

    What this strike has done is galvanise companies like ours into action, doing something that should have been done a long time ago. It will save thousands of pounds a year in postage costs.

    It seems likely that other firms will have done the same.

    I wonder if opinion about modernisation of the PO could have been divided between individuals and business users?

  4. Moley -I think you are right. People just used the PO because it was there and saved any effort finding an alternative. The danger facing the PO is that customers may never come back if the alternative turns out to be better.

    Not enough time, however, has been spent by the media pointing out that it is the UK’s slavish devotion to EU diktats that is the root cause of the PO’s planned sell-off.

  5. ‘Not enough time, however, has been spent by the media pointing out that it is the UK’s slavish devotion to EU diktats that is the root cause of the PO’s planned sell-off.’

    I get really annoyed with the above sort of comment. Please prove it or this just one of those normal anti-EU statements which some people throw in because all mistakes / problems are never caused by our own incompetence (‘we are Englsih / British and can never be wrong-we had an empire – slide into pro-UKIP / BNP’ automatic idiotic response) so they blame the EU.

    The EU may be responsible but I sincerely doubt it–I would argue that the growth of email for example had very little to do with the EU and that is one of the prime causes of the problem. Our normal English lack of willingness to embrace change is another non-EU issue– the PO is doing 10% less business each year (due to email) the insistence that we have 6 deliveries a week is ridiculous. The Govt. should firstly allow only 5 deliveries (like in Australia) and allow them to be at any time of the day. (To deliver 6 deliveries a week requires 6 posties, with everyone doing a 5 day week–so that’s get rid of one out of every 6 already.). Other ways to sensibly improve efficiency would be, again like Australia, require letterboxes on the road unless your door is on the road 9how much time is wasted delivering to the door) and getting posties onto very low powered electric scooters. Both of these would improve the efficiency of individual posties and require far fewer delivery staff.

    To be really radical go like the United Arab Emirates and do away with delivery–require all people to get mail from a Post Office box…

  6. As usual, it all depends upon the questions. For instance, the question about ACAS does not draw the respondents’ attention to implications for the unions’ right to continue to strike legally.

  7. That 60% think the Government should be involved in
    “how the Royal Mail should be modernised” just demonstrates what a “big government” frame of mind we have adopted.

    Modernisation of the Royal Mail is the responsibility of it’s management & workforce.
    If they can’t do it-someone else will-or take their custom whilst they wrangle over it.

  8. Jack

    I think you are mistaken – it is an EU requirement that postal services should be opened to the private sector – though the government chose to start the process in 2006, three yearsa ahead of the EU requirement.

    Apart from that, your suggestions are excellent and innovative – one or 2 less deliveries a week wouldn’t cripple anyone.

    As a regular user of Royal Mail, I have found the service extremely effective and affordable. In the last six months I have posted about 200 second class packets, and almost every one has arrived either the day after posting or the day after that.

    In an eBay world, it’s the perfect, albeit obviously taxpayer-subsidised, packet delivery service.
    It’s a great service but it’s not hard to observe it closely and see hundreds of potential efficiencies.

    Sticking to the psephology, if 55% feel the government should be more involved, I think that shows faith in the government rather than criticism.

  9. Wouldn’t it be nice if a national newspaper didn’t interpret a poll to suit its own prejudices.

  10. I agree with Andy. Lets just be honest the Tories are in a comfortable lead and are looking good for a GE win. End of story for now.

  11. Colin
    “Modernisation of the Royal Mail is the responsibility of it’s management & workforce”

    I would disagree – it’s a matter for the management alone. If the workforce don’t like it, they can always try to get a job somewhere else; and if they can’t do that they should put up with what they’ve got.

    This idea of calling a strike every time the management of an organization tries to manage is very reminiscent of the late 1970s – also the last knockings of a Labour government. I do agree with Colin that it is depressing that so many people want the government to be more involved. Why on earth should they be?

  12. I agree with Jack that deliveries could be made 5 days a week instead of 6, however, they could not be made any less regularly than that. The chief users of the Royal Mail are businesses – legal firms, accountants, etc. They depend on being able to send and receive mail Monday to Friday, sometimes urgently.

    The Royal Mail should be entirely privatised, as should every other industry where any union even threatens to strike. Standard practice should be that if a union so much as mentions a strike the industry should be privatised. That would stop the strikes (and make everything more efficient).

  13. Workers are right to strike for their way to better work, better life.

    And government will pay more attenation on workers.

  14. The Royal Mail is not privatised as yet and therefore at the end of the day it is the responsibility of government to sort out. In a private company the owner or shareholders are ultimately responsible, in this case the shareholder is the Government.

  15. Are there any polls due to come out re last night’s Question Time performance and possible spike/dip for the BNP?

  16. Alec just 2 days ago you prematurely wrote “It’s all looking very good for the Tories I think. I actually think this is a good election to win. It’s now likely that Darling’s borrowing figures will be met or undershot this year, whereas at the time he was derided for being in cloud cuckoo land”.

    Given today’s economic news it is now expected that Darling will have to substantially increase his borrowing estimates. Do you still think it’s a good election to win?

  17. Mike,

    The rest of us all knew Darling’s figures were under, not over, before today. Alec, being a Labour propagandist, could be counted on to say what he said, and the rest of us weren’t taken in anyway.

  18. Despite the GDP figures published today – and subject to revision next month – unemployment remains almost 500,000 lower than almost universally expected last Autumn. This must have a positive effect on Darling’s borrowing estimates.

  19. Mike,

    Yes, I too suspect the GDP figure will have the left wing Keynesians scratching their heads, and wonder how Alec will spin it for Labour this time.

    All those productive assets (cars) wasted/destroyed with nothing to show for it but debt… wow.

  20. I think when people talk about the Government being involved they want the Government to get the strike stopped as they would in the US.

  21. Pete B
    “I would disagree – it’s a matter for the management alone.”

    Those days should be gone.

    New work practices clearly cannot be implemented without the training & co-operation of the employees.

    So the employees have a responsibility to adapt.

    The management have a responsibility to
    communicate the change needed and organise it’s implementation.

    If the employees will not adapt after reasonable communication, then of course the management is entitled to implement it’s plan.

    I have yet to hear a convincing statement from the CWU as to why they are on strike. Equally I’m not convinced that the current management know what they are doing-so I agree with the Mandelson plan which was shelved..