The Communication Workers Union, which represents staff at the Royal Mail that are postal, has condemned plans by the Royal Mail to employ 30,000 temporary employees to deal with the back-log created by union members working even less than normal.
“There is no way that these new temporary staff are going to gain the experience of a proper postie in just a few days,” said Bob Billingsworth of the CWU. “It takes years to be able to time your toilet breaks to work time only and to know the best skips on your route into which to dump mail. If all the proper posties are on strike, who is going to show these new people the 'undeliverable parcel' ropes that helps fill the end of month lucky dip with so many Amazon and QVC packages?”
Union workers are objecting plans by the Royal Mail to drag the institution into the 21st century. They fear that increased automation is likely to lead to job losses and a chance that your letter might get to the correct address, rather than just ending up in the first house on your street that the postie passes.
“If you are lucky!” commented Billingsworth. “We in the union want to make sure that in this modern day and age an item of post is handled by at least 6 highly skilled and fully qualified people before being ripped to shreds.”
Other modernisation plans involve a radical scheme to have the sorting office check the intended address against it's own comprehensive database of possible addresses before handing it to a bloke on a bike who, if confused, will just deliver it somewhere that looks a bit like it.
“The Royal Mail lives in a fantasy land. It claims that it is now possible to tell the difference between house numbers such as 43 and 13,” said Billingsworth. “It has even claimed that the numbers 12 and 13 represent different properties! A machine would have to be sober to achieve that.”
People across Britain are believed to be taking no additional precautions to allow for the thousands of items of post that will become lost, damaged or stolen during the postal crisis. As most believe they will see no difference to normal postal service.
“Apparently there is a word for what they will be doing, it's something called a 'Strike',” said the owner of a mail order business in Sheffield. “I assumed it was just business as usual.”
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