Postal strikes - please don't shoot the messenger

I doubt there is a single household that has not been inconvenienced, or at least impacted, by the ongoing industrial dispute at Royal Mail.

Sunday, 22nd January 2023, 3:00pm
Postal strikes - please don't shoot the messenger

That was probably never more the case than over the festive season, with a raft of Christmas cards landing on doormats long after December 25.

It is vital, though, that any ire at this sub-standard service is directed at the right people and not at the posties themselves! Be in no doubt – culpability for the strikes lies squarely at the door of Royal Mail’s hierarchy.

It is important to understand that the root cause of the industrial action affecting mail deliveries, contrary to what some elements of the media would have us believe, is not simply pay. That is far from the case.

As a customer, never mind as an MSP, I am fully behind the postal workers in Angus. My experience with our posties is overwhelmingly positive.

This local Royal Mail workforce is one which has shown itself willing to adapt to change, even when that causes personal inconvenience. The closure of the Carnoustie Parcel Office a few years ago brought that into sharp focus.

This is not a belligerent group of workers, opposed to any change and quick to strike. It is one that takes pride in the service it provides. That is why our postal workers are taking the action they are.

Over recent years, Royal Mail has increasingly focused on parcel delivery to the detriment of letters. And despite making huge profits last year, its management is determined to force through changes which will not only make completely unreasonable demands of staff, but, I believe, call into question the very future of the universal service obligation that has been the hallmark of Royal Mail.

I do not think that asking our postal workers to attempt to deliver mail to rural parts of Angus in the late afternoon winter darkness is either reasonable or safe. That is why I have joined the posties who serve Monifieth and Carnoustie on the picket line.

Can I encourage everyone, when you see your posties on their rounds, to offer them a word of support? This dispute is about defending a service we all rely upon – not to mention the working conditions of those who provide it.

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