Post Hell

In the UK, Royal Mail is striking from Thursday Lunch Time to Wednesday 10th October, 2007.

Ok, it’s actually two 48 hour strikes, but it is cleverly placed over the weekend, so the impact is the same as striking for 5 days in a row. Remember that although deliveries are done pretty much by the time it gets to early afternoon, there is the sorting which goes on through the night. All that will stop dead for the rest of the weekend through to Wednesday. No doubt it will take a fair amount of time to get through the sorting once staff get back, so don’t expect any post to get to you untill the end of next week.

Big businesses have their strikes sometimes, but I am just one of the unfortunate ones who has 2 presents in the post due for next week, which have been on order for a while and are right now, being sat in a cage somewhere, just waiting to be sorted.

Don’t get me started on international parcels. Customs will have a huge pile to get through down in Mount Plesant (Hq for Royal Mail) so expect quite a wait.

Alright so I am just waiting for make up mainly but I feel for people who are waiting for important things, like gifts, like bank cards, like pension checks etc. Nothing is guaranteed during the strike period although I have heard some depots will be business as usual.

On a personal level, I find that Royal Mail service varies a lot depot to depot. Some are fantastic and professional. Some, like the one near me now, is terrible. Legally, a depot has to take out mail that they have in their office, but the fact is, my depot certainly don’t. I have to spontaneously visit the depot a few times a week and collect – last time the guy told me that they had a few parcels but didnt bother to take it out to me because they were’t sure if I were in or not – well, should you try me first before presuming!!

Additionally I was old earlier this week that there was a 4 day delay on parcels. That on top the strike will really cripple my local depot.

To further illustrate that point, I recieved a book which arrived 3 weeks late. I ordered from the same company, a book, which was sent to my mum’s address. No problem, it arrived in one day. Once again, it really varies.

I am sure postal workers who strike have their own reasons for doing so. But I do have to be sympathetic to Royal Mail’s vision:

“We continue to urge the CWU to work with us to modernise the business and to help secure a successful future for the company and its people in the competitive market in which we now operate.” said a RM spokesman.

Some workers are concerned about their jobs, should RM choose to replace them with hundreds of sorting machines. Well one thing is for sure – a machine can’t go on strike.

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