A Striking Christmas From Postal Workers

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Post Office Mayhem

Next week the Communication Workers Union, which acts for around 4,000 postal workers are planning a 5 day strike. The post office says that only 3% of mail will be affected, but the union say that it will be a lot more. I felt sad to hear about that knowing that these strikes are planned for the run up to Christmas and could cause much disappointment to young and old alike.

Santa, postal workers strikeTheir grievances are over pay, pensions and job cuts due to branch closures. I’ve got to admit to some concern about the disappearance of post offices. It’s quite a trek to my nearest post office now, but if the post office were making huge losses I can understand why the outlets have been closing. It’s just a pity that they couldn’t find a way to make the branches more profitable.

As for pay, if the company are making losses I don’t see how the workforce can expect higher pay without the post office working towards making profit even if it means cutbacks. Pension, I haven’t a clue what has happened there. Apparently some post office workers will be up to 30% worse off when they retire. I work for a national company and over recent years my expected end pension has dropped dramatically. That is because of the recession that we went through and the extremely low interest rates. I’m not happy about it but I know that it’s not my employers fault so won’t be striking over it.

Christmas has got to be the busiest time of year for postal workers with gifts and cards being delivered from all over the world. For many and particularly the lonely elderly, Christmas cards and gifts every year are the only contact they have with some family members and friends. Receiving the cards means an awful lot to them and I would hate to think of these vulnerable people not getting their cards or gifts.

I hate to think of anybody waiting for the post that doesn’t come and especially at this time of year. It seems mean to me and especially as there has been an agreement to resume talks on these matters.

Perhaps I’m speaking out of turn here, but lately we seem to hearing of strike action more. I don’t like strikes and have never taken part in one in 46 years of working. Although I am in a union I don’t think that striking is a way to resolve matters and I don’t think that trying to force employers to give in to demands is the right way either. Haven’t we lost industries because of strikes?

Southern Rail

Perhaps the post office workers won’t cause as much inconvenience, but I’m glad that I don’t have to rely upon Southern rail who are striking this week to get about. Unfair on travelers and could cause safety issues if any are stranded with no transport and job losses for those who can’t get to work. Apparently they are striking about who opens train doors, despite the fact that an agreement was made with the union 5 years ago.

Rail users could lose their jobs because of the striking, one young woman says that she is getting behind with her University studies because she has been forced to miss classes. I’m grateful to be in a job with regular hours and a contract. It must be hard being on zero hours contracts. Perhaps those on strike should think about how lucky they are to have regular jobs and wages rather than the uncertainty of zero hours contracts – which I think should be banned.

Back in the Day

I was around in January 1974 when there were power cuts because of the miner’s strikes. What they did was cause inconvenience for the whole nation when we had to work a 3 day week and have no power for long periods at a time. Those miners strikes and the ones before and after gained little or nothing for miners except pit closures. Same with the car manufacturing industry.

It’s a pity that Margaret Thatcher stopped at service industries when she sorted out the militant unions. It is the service industries that time and time again have tried to hold this country to ransom. Argos delivery drivers were talking about striking in the run up to Christmas and now BA cabin crews are getting in on the misery causing act.

Striking Reputation

It’s obvious how much I dislike strikes, but to end this I’ll tell you that I was in Paris for a week in 1980. Reading a French newspaper I was most annoyed to see that we Brits had a terrible reputation for striking over anything and everything. Disgruntled, my friend and I decided to travel across Paris to see the Eiffel tower, the bloody Metro was closed because of a strike!

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