Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will start voting next Wednesday on whether to back a nationwide walkout. The issue at stake is Royal Mail's modernisation plan. That is, cutting pay and jobs and delivering more unaddressed junk mail.
On a local level, postmen have been taking strike action since mid-June on a weekly rolling basis. A long list with places that will be on strike next week can be found on the CWU website. According to the CWU the strikes are a success. This week the CWU announced that there's currently a backlog of
well over 20 million items in London alone. Yet, as Gregor Gall recently noted in the Guardian, nobody really seems to care about the strikes. People don't seem to be noticing it, the Government hasn't said much about the strikes and the media is disinterested.
There is at least one person who cares: Robert Keitch of the Direct Marketing Association. In a letter [Link to article on DMA website removed in August 2011 as the page no longer exists - JB] to Lord Mandelson, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr Keitch states:
"It is quite clear that businesses cannot sustain these interruptions indefinitely. Should relations deteriorate further and a national postal strike takes effect, this would have a significant impact on businesses that rely on issuing invoices and receiving payment via post."
Not exactly the junk mail association's core business to worry such things. I guess the letter to Lord Mandelson should have read that the strikes would have "a significant impact on businesses that rely on issuing junk mail via post." But who in their right mind would care about that?