It’s not often management and workers are singing from the same hymn sheet.
But in a letter we publish today, the Royal Mail’s Tony Bicknall and John Brown, of the Communication Workers Union, voice fears for the future of the universal postal service we currently enjoy – particularly in more remote areas such as ours.
The Royal Mail and its hard-working posties are justly proud of the six-days-a-week operation they deliver to all 29million UK addresses. But the two aforementioned gentlemen see rivals’ mail delivery operations as a threat to the present state of affairs.
Messrs Bicknall and Brown point out that their commitment to rural residents is maintained by money made from urban areas. However, they claim this service is undermined by competitors, not bound by regulatory requirements imposed on Royal Mail, cherry picking the more profitable routes.
Royal Mail and its employees haven’t buried their heads in the sand over declining numbers of letters in the face of email and other forms of communication. As well as often-painful efficiencies, they see a burgeoning parcels business as a way of safeguarding their future.
There’s nothing wrong with competition – provided it’s on a level playing field. If Royal Mail’s rivals want to take it on, then do so – but play by the same rules and obligations.
By all means post profits for shareholders – but deliver a service for all parts of the country too.