Wednesday 10 November 2010
Postal vision goes undelivered.
Not very convinced about the government's Post Office scheme. It seems geared to pushing sub offices into small supermarkets. Under current models that is impossible. There isn't the staff in the supermarkets to deal with the work. And the real problem is the work only attracts a pittance so its not cost effective to employ someone to do it.
Meanwhile, Lord Mandelson's old preferred bidder for Royal Mail, Dutch TNT, has seen a 24% fall in profits and is currently embroiled in a dispute with the mail unions. TNT this week described Union demands as "irresponsible, not feasible, and contrary to recognition that TNT Post needs to make major savings". Strikes are likely as the union has demanded that 4,500 redundancies are too many to bear. In Finland the unions ae back to work after a dispute had stopped deliveries. Just in time if the backlog is to be cleared for the Christmas rush. Magyar Posta, Hungary's postal operator is cutting back office jobs to save money. Lithuania post has upped its prices..as will Royal mail by some 10-12%, which is a bit more than usual.
Its all a mess.
There isn't enough money to be made from delivering everything to everyone, everyday, for almost nothing.
Royal mail customers broadly support a 5 day a week service, with some demands on a better service, according to the soon to be scrapped PostComm. Trying to keep the service as it was in the 1980's has meant that RM have shed workers and started delivering later in the day with longer rounds for each postal worker. Not very satisfactory for anyone. Something needs to be done. And someting more than the very lukewarm, almost Blair like style, spin over substance, proposals announced yesterday.
The government is talking bold, but its actions are really just privatisation. No PostBank, and although we here have long said that wouldn't happen, its stil a big blow to making PO viable.
Expect much higher prices and far, far fewer post offices in the near future.