With all the speculation about the future of Royal Mail, I would like us all to consider if we want or need Royal Mail to be a public service or run as a business whose priority would be profit?
I worked for Royal Mail for almost 22 years but took redundancy two years ago. I know the changes that Royal Mail has gone through, complying with Working Time Directives, having to cope with Postcomm and dealing with unfair rules regarding competition and European mail liberalisation.
While at the same time coping with keeping costs down while not receiving anywhere near the levels of finance due to unfair competition rules.
About six years ago this country was told that Postcomm would encourage competition in the mail service of the UK by allowing companies to get involved in the Postal service.
Other companies would be allowed to collect, process and deliver the post. Postcomm believed that there would be two or three companies collecting and delivering your letters at a cheaper price and faster.
TNT, DHL, UPS workers would be walking up your garden path delivering all types of post - that's what they told you. Can you remember the news stories with all those different coloured post boxes?
The Communication Workers Union always believed that companies would just cherry pick the profitable parts of the mail process, leaving Royal Mail to deliver mail at a loss. A back door way of privatisation.
So what has happened? Just this. Other companies collect mail from businesses, being paid very well to do it, they part sort the mail then take it to a Royal Mail centre for RM to sort and then distribute to all the delivery offices in the area ready for posties to sort, prepare and deliver the mail.
So private companies take out the profit in the process and then get Royal Mail to deliver it, which is clearly the most manual and costly part of the process.
What should have happened, if Postcomm wanted fair competition? Well in my view, if a company wanted to get involved in the business then they should have been made to collect, process and deliver any letter they were paid to collect.
That's fair competition because then these private companies would have the same costs as Royal Mail.
Now we get told that we need part privatisation to develop Royal Mail and keep prices down. Well that's rubbish. Since when has privatisation meant you ended up with cheaper prices?
Gas, electric? Well I just got my electric bill and I can clearly say privatisation costs me more.
I may seem a little biased, that's because I am; as stated, I did work for Royal Mail. I did silly early starts, I did the physical labour out in all types of weather.In my view I did give you, the public,a good service,as do many postal workers today.
Royal Mail should be firstly a service to this country,a public service to you and to the businesses you work for,not a business just looking to make a profit for greedy shareholders.
Don't let government privatise your postal service.Make sure it's a service that this country can rely on for many years to come,which offers jobs and gives you value for money without shareholders.
Whitehall Close, Uxbridge.