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October 09, 2007
As anyone waiting for post will surely know, Royal mail and their worker’s unions have still failed come to any agreement. Yesterday they went on 48-hour strike, and next Monday the union’s head threatened continuous strike action. This is just the latest stage in the battle between the Royal Mail’s Unions and their bosses. There was another 48-hour strike last week, and in July was a series of staggered strikes. The industrial action of an army of 130,000 postal workers is predicted to cost the company up to £230 M, one can thus deduce that the cost to the greater economy must be much higher.
The cause seems to revolve around the management’s drive towards modernising reforms (such as making the jobs the workers do more flexible, so they may not know what job they are doing one day to the next). However the workers complain that the proposals will cost 40,000 jobs. There are disagreements over the pay increase also.
What should we do, if anything? Does these events acts as a signal justifying the privatisation of the service? If it was privatised then the management would be much more empowered to get the job done, as they wouldn’t be accountable to the government who are in turn accountable to the Unions. They would still be accountable to the democracy of the marketplace; the only difference is that now the wider consumer interest would take precedence over the narrower union interest.