Recently, I’ve been getting mighty hacked off with the post. The strikes and the shoddy service in the last couple of months have screwed with some work things and some personal things, and I share some of the confusion about what they’re meant to achieve.
But a couple of quotes that I’ve only heard today are making things a little clearer for me, and both of them were in the same article.
Point 1: Royal Mail estimated that the backlog peaked at 30 million items and has dropped to 5 million. The CWU claimed that the peak was in excess of 100 million. Which means that the two sides don’t agree on what the size of the workload of RM is – the union clearly thinks that the business moves three times more mail than RM does. So Royal Mail is changing the business to cope with a workload of x, and the CWU is making demands based on the profit margin and workload caused by 3x. I know which set of figures I’d think is more likely, too, considering my own experience of diminishing post in work and home.
Point 2: a quote from the CWU:
CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the dispute was “fundamentally” about jobs but the issue of the Royal Mail’s £10bn pension deficit also needed to be resolved urgently.
He said: “There’s no prospect of us building a successful future for the Royal Mail and for the workforce unless the government actually deal with that issue.”
So it’s not really something that RM can cope with, the CWU are expecting the government to step in and fix a pension hole. ANd they know that the next government isn’t going to be as sympathetic to big union activity, so they’re having to pick fights now, while the current government is in the financial of the unions and has a backbone of rancid jelly.
It makes a little more sense now. Not a lot of sense, but a little more…