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Postal strike

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Wednesday 23 September 2009 2.50pm
Hold on, hold on...
You may have issues with the individual posties, but there is a deeper malaise, govt has drawn money from the mail service for years, while management have imposed new regimes which are often unrealistic.
The fault (IMHO) rests with management. By all means sack them, but the guys wh actually bring the stuff to our letterboxes are getting loaded with more work daily.
Wednesday 23 September 2009 2.57pm
And dare I say isn't everyone else in society...more work longer hours with lots of stress thrown in for good measure. Its a dying industry. Virtually all mail can be deplivered electronically and whilst there will be a niche for some letters in future it will be very small so the majority of things will be parcel deliveries. That can be done by any number of companies chomping at the bit. The Royal Mail is going through its death throws unless it can re-invent itself as a pure delivery service and get off its high horse... that really is the problem now.
Wednesday 23 September 2009 10.01pm
urbanite has a very good point there. im not retracting my original post, but since found out that perhaps some workers feel forced to strike whether they like it or not, and a good proportion of them don't want to, because they lose pay every time they do. why does the government allow these unions to exist and force people to strike? in this day and age, striking is not the answer to resolve issues about working conditions or pay. it's a sad mess.
Thursday 24 September 2009 9.26am
darrenm wrote:
urbanite has a very good point there. im not retracting my original post, but since found out that perhaps some workers feel forced to strike whether they like it or not, and a good proportion of them don't want to, because they lose pay every time they do.

I worked for the Royal Mail when I was doing the knowledge and got caught up in at least two strikes that I did not want to get involved in.
Darren, it is a brave man who sticks his head above the parapet and says, "No, I won't join in".
Braver still the man who ignores a picket line and turns up for work. When the strike inevitably ends it is he who has to face the wrath of his colleagues when they return to work.
It is far easier to go with the flow, and the unions know that, it is their silent weapon.
Which is not to say that I am anti-union, I've felt strongly enough in the past to walk out over issues where I felt my employer was wrong.
Thursday 24 September 2009 9.53am
Well I agree it must be very difficult to stand up and be counted but surley that is the mark of someone who has true conviction...whilst its nothing like the same thing look what happened throughout history when the bully boys intimadated everyone, from dictators to idustrialists and politicians, and how worse off society was for allowing it to happen.
Thursday 24 September 2009 11.34am
What you write is very true urbanite, and I am sure that you are sincere in your convictions.
Had I felt overwhelmingly that the strikes that I was caught up in during the '70s were wrong I would have turned the job in altogether, believe me it would have been a whole lot easier than crossing a picket line and going in to work.
I took the easy way out, I used the strike days to go out on my moped and study the streets in order to gain my green badge that much quicker, or, if I needed the money, as the holder of a Class 1 HGV licence, (42 ton vehicles), I would work a couple of days on an agency for cash.
I almost became hoisted with my own petard doing that however, one day I picked up a trailer that had to be delivered to the Royal Mail depot where I worked, and where the picket line knew me personally.
I miraculously developed low back pain and limped away, forfeiting a day's pay.
Thursday 24 September 2009 10.28pm
Tom Pepper

"I miraculously developed low back pain and limped away, forfeiting a day's pay."

Fully understand. As you suggest, the alternative could have resulted in trouble for you and yours.

A lot better than my story of crossing a "picket line". My grandfather broke the General Strike and then having to move 12 children from Clapham to Bishop Auckland in County Durham fast-ish, the Union harrassed the family home.

Coming back to London in the mid-1930s, my grandfather re-established his haulage company in the Druid Street arches and he and his fellow drivers ran through WWII and the Blitz without flinching, taking in their solemn stride the 77 people killed in the bomb shelter on Druid Street in October 1940 and the long, murderous Nazi attrition.

But it was the Union bullies who forced a brave man and his family away from London, not Hitler. A tiny speck of family history, which is meaningful for me, but open to interpretation on all sides.

Back to the Royal Mail....
Thursday 24 September 2009 11.11pm
There was a chap from Royal Mail interviewed on ITV London Tonight earlier and he said there are around 7 to 10 million items of post stacked in a warehouse waiting to be delivered. When asked why didn't they pay the sorting staff overtime to clear the backlog, he replied "why should we reward the mail staff for going on strike". He said they are using management and office staff to slowly clear the backlog. When asked about the possibility of mail ending up being destroyed he said this wouldn't happen, and all mail would be delivered eventually. Personally I think whatever the rights and wrongs of it they should pay the overtime and get the mail delivered. You will get mail posted in the last few days before you get mail that was posted a weeks ago as they seem to sort from latest to oldest and keep throwing new bags on top of old.
Friday 25 September 2009 1.19pm
Tom Pepper wrote:
Got home Monday p.m. to find a card left at 13.00 to say that a package would be at Mandela Way sorting office, allow 24 hours before coming to collect it.
Went there at 15.00 today, (Tuesday), only to told that it hadn't been brought back yet.
"Why, has the guy been out all day, all night, and most of today since leaving the card yesterday?" I asked.
Fortunately, my attempt at humour didn't appear to annoy him, "Come back Thursday or Friday mate, it MIGHT be here by then," he offered.

Update on collection of my package from Mandela Way.
Went there today, (Friday), at around 12.10 only to be told, "It hasn't come back yet."
"Back from where?" I asked.
"It goes to Nine Elms depot and they are sometimes a bit slow returning it here, give it until the middle of next week !"
Fortunately the package contains, (I think), a couple of ink cartridges for my printer so I'm not desperate for it's arrival, but imagine if it were something that I really needed.
I have no desire to see hundreds of Royal Mail employees lose their jobs but it is not difficult to see why the public would be happy if the delivery of mail was handed over to a more efficient company.
TAK
Friday 25 September 2009 2.53pm
Tom Pepper wrote:
Tom Pepper wrote:
Got home Monday p.m. to find a card left at 13.00 to say that a package would be at Mandela Way sorting office, allow 24 hours before coming to collect it.
Went there at 15.00 today, (Tuesday), only to told that it hadn't been brought back yet.
"Why, has the guy been out all day, all night, and most of today since leaving the card yesterday?" I asked.
Fortunately, my attempt at humour didn't appear to annoy him, "Come back Thursday or Friday mate, it MIGHT be here by then," he offered.

Similar thing happened to me some time ago:
On the card it says leave 24 hours - as I went 48 hours later I was told it had not come back yet.
Apparently, delivery staff have not to return back to Mandela Way anymore at end of day so it goes to Nine Elmes and eventually returns to Mandela Way (at it's leisure I think).

I was just left wondering why the simply don't state at the back of the card to leave 72 hours - this could have saved me my return walk from the Elephant before going to work one morning.....

Also, does anyone know if the queues are always going around the block on Saturdays - I twice went there on a Saturday and on the second occasion I did not even bother to line up..... I guess weekdays early morning before work are best.
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