Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Spanish practices at the Royal Mail.

Strange sights on the road today, Royal Mail vehicles and postmen doing delivery rounds. Up to 130,000 Royal Mail workers have gone back to work after their strike action.

I think they were very wrong to come out on strike. They are backing a loser and have sent their industry into a big downturn. They are committing commercial suicide in their ignorance of business and the way our society works. They are very backward in their views and are opposed to any modernisation that could save their jobs. It could only be a matter of time before the management of Royal Mail calls it a day and sacks the striking postmen for breach of contract. These 130,000 postmen can be very quickly replaced, from the growing ranks of our unemployed. There are people in Poland ready and very willing to jump on another coach and do their jobs within days.

Apart from the routine demands over pay and pensions the postmen will not abandon their cherished Spanish work practices which add greatly to their employment costs. These uncooperative working practices means that their actual labour costs far greater than it should and at the end of the day the Royal Mail is not getting what it pays for. Other industries would not allow this amount of slack to take places and this shows that our Royal Mail is still operating in the dark ages - Britain in the 1970's.

These striking postmen are pricing themselves out of a job in two ways. Their strike action makes the Royal Mail revenue insecure and unpredictable. Once the Royal Mail looses a customer they will never get the business back. These Spanish practices cost the Royal Mail dearly and the cost cannot be underwritten. Here is a list of some of the Spanish practices that these striking postmen are happy to see finish their jobs forever. Royal Mail has a list of 12 of the 92 "Spanish practices" which it claims are now at the core of the worst postal strike for nearly two decades:

* Two or three hour minimum daily overtime - so if 30 minutes of actual work is required and completed, then between two and three hours' payment is demanded;

* An additional allowance claimed for using particular vehicles - regardless of whether the individual has actually driven the vehicle;

* Automatic overtime if mail volumes reach a certain level - regardless of how many ordinary working hours remain that day;

* If a delivery round is finished before the end of the paid shift, the employee expects to be able to go straight home. But if it takes 10 minutes longer two to three hours' over time is claimed;

* Set overtime level is claimed at Christmas, even if there is no need for any additional hours and no extra hours are worked;

* An additional two hour payment on Easter Saturday - regardless of whether any work required;

* No flexibility between different parts of the same sorting office - if an employee sorts letters for a particular postcode, they will not sort for the adjacent postcode, even though both activities are often in the same room;

* Signing in and out for a shift on arrival - so that no record of actual hours worked exists;

* Collection drivers expect overtime pay for doing collections outside usual route - even if it is done within usual working hours;

* Overtime to cover for an absent colleague - a full day is claimed, even if only half day needed and worked;

* Ban on any cross functional working, even of similar tasks under the same roof;

* Additional meal and grace breaks as custom and practice

Meanwhile in Poland many are getting ready to come over to the new Royal Polish Mail offering them secure employment at our National Minimum Wage rates. The result of the match Poland 1 - old trade union dogma 0.
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