the daily news digest of the postal world since 1998


Celebrate decent jobs on National Postal Workers Day

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) will be calling on the nation to celebrate dedicated postmen and women on National Postal Workers Day today (Wednesday) – the busiest day of the year for postal workers.

This year’s National Postal Workers Day falls in the TUC’s Decent Jobs Week and will highlight the difference in pay and terms and conditions across the postal sector.

CWU, who represent more than 200,000 workers in post, telecoms, mobile and financial services, is working with the TUC during Decent Jobs Week to raise awareness about Britain’s jobs’ crisis and the increased casualisation of employment.

Wednesday 17th December marks the third-ever National Postal Workers Day, when the whole nation celebrates the hard work and dedication of hundreds of thousands of women and men who collect, sort and deliver letters, parcels and packets for everyone.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “Today is a chance to show your appreciation for the hard work your postmen or women puts in throughout the year. There is a huge gap in the pay and terms and conditions between Royal Mail and its competitors in the postal sector but if we want to attract people to the job in the future then we have to ensure there are decent jobs for them to do.

“All postal workers, whichever company they work for, should be paid a decent wage with good terms and conditions. We are extremely proud of our ground-breaking deal with Royal Mail and competitors to the company should see the benefit in rewarding staff properly instead of overseeing a race to the bottom for employment standards in the postal industry.”


EastEnders actor with dwarfism sues Post Office over chip-and-pin machines

Post Office branches are being made more accessible to disabled people after an EastEnders actor with dwarfism sued the company for discrimination because she could not reach the chip-and-pin machines at the counter.

Kiruna Stamell, who has appeared on EastEnders and in the film Moulin Rouge, made a claim against the business for disability discrimination.

The 33-year-old perfomer had difficulty reaching chip-and-pin devices at post offices because they were fixed to the counter top. Many retailers have devices that can be detached from a holster and handed to a customer.

“Unfortunately, I had several negative experiences at post office counters and for many years I have had difficulty paying for their goods and services. After a couple of really upsetting experiences at various branches, I realised, something needed to change,” Stamell wrote on her website.

She used law firm Unity Law to bring a case against the Post Office under the Equalities Act 2010, which has now been settled. “We were able to get everyone to the table and bring the needs of disabled people to the attention of the Post Office,” Stamell explained.

Read more: EastEnders actor with dwarfism sues Post Office over chip-and-pin machines | Society | The Guardian.


Compulsory redundancies threat sparks strike of Royal Mail support staff

From the Communications Workers Union:

cwu_logo_alWorkers responsible for distributing cash and providing vital support services to all post offices in the UK are set to walkout tomorrow (Friday).

The dispute surrounds the 1,500 employees working in the Admin and Supply Chain, who are responsible for the collection, handling and distribution of cash across the post office network.

Talks between the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Post Office Ltd over the last two weeks ended today without agreement, but the union has made it clear it remains available for further talks.

The industrial action will take place due to Post Office plans to cut jobs in the Admin and Supply Chain using compulsory redundancy. These job losses would have a significant impact on the level of service the publicly-owned company can provide in the future.

The strike could impact on the delivery of cash to the Post Office’s 11,500 branches across the UK, as well as cash deliveries to external companies.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "Unfortunately, talks with Post Office management ended today without agreement and industrial action planned for tomorrow will go ahead. Progress has been made over pay but the Post Office’s insistence that a pay deal is directly linked to compulsory redundancy of Admin and Supply Chain workers is completely unacceptable.

"This is the first time in its 400 year history that the Post Office has threatened compulsory redundancies on its workforce. It speaks volumes about the mismanagement of this important public service. The truth is Vince Cable’s decision to split the Post Office from Royal Mail two years ago, and to place the company in a financial straightjacket with no strategy for the future, has led to a spiral of managed decline and will eventually destroy the company.

"The workers distributing cash to over 11,500 Post Office branches put themselves in danger everyday in order to do their jobs and it is appalling that they have the very real threat of compulsory redundancy hanging over them. By getting rid of such a significant part of the workforce, it would be incredibly difficult for the Post Office to continue its current level of service in this area."

Read more: Media | Press Releases | Compulsory redundancies threat sparks strike.


World’s oldest post office gets a new postmaster

A new postmaster has been found to run the world’s oldest post office.

Dr Manzoor Alam will become only the 16th person to run Sanquhar Post Office in Dumfries and Galloway.

His appointment secures the future of the historic facility, which has been in continuous service since 1712.

The keen stamp collector and postal historian, who is expected to take up the position in the New Year, said he was proud to be preserving its heritage.

Sanquhar Post Office is recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest post office in the world.

It started out as a staging post for mail carriages, with the old stables behind the branch thought to have once provided a resting place for horses drawing the mail carriages.

Read more: BBC News – Historic Sanquhar post office announces new postmaster.


Canada Post carrier hurt badly in hit-and-run

A Canada Post worker who says he was run over and left in a pool of blood is recovering in hospital.

Greg Mady suffered a broken knee and three compound fractures in his right leg and one in his left.

Mady said he was working his regular postal route near 127th Avenue and 125th Street in north Edmonton Thursday when he stepped out of his postal truck to make deliveries and was hit by a vehicle he never saw.

He woke up on the ground not able to feel his legs, with crowd of people standing around him, his blood frozen to the pavement.

“I just woke up on the street,” he said. “I got moved to the hospital. Everything is kind of a blur.”

He doesn’t remember the vehicle hitting him, but he was told the the driver left the scene.

Read more: Postie hurt badly in hit-and-run – Edmonton – CBC News.


Royal Mail launches 3D printing trial with iMakr

MAGNET_400Royal Mail customers will be able to enter the world of 3D printing at one of Royal Mail’s Central London delivery offices.

Royal Mail is trialling the new service with 3D printing specialists iMakr to gauge customer interest in the growing technology. The pilot will run from Monday 8 December at the New Cavendish Street delivery office, near Oxford Street.

Customers will be able to purchase a range of ready-to-print items from and to have printed, and delivered by Royal Mail. Alternatively, they can bring in their own designs to print in the delivery office or at the iMakr store.

The adoption of 3D printing technology is one of the fastest growing areas of IT and the shipment volume of these printers is expected to grow by 95 per cent between 2012 and 20171. However analysts predict just 2.3 million 3D printers will be sold worldwide in 2018. The majority of printers are predicted to be in use for prototyping in large industrial firms with consumer take-up lagging around 5-10 years from mainstream adoption2.

3D printers build solid objects, usually one razor thin layer at a time. Currently considered embryonic technology and used by industrial companies to produce components and parts, it is being swiftly embraced by SMEs and consumers to create prototypes, models and customised items.

Mike Newnham, Chief Customer Officer, Royal Mail said: “3D printing is an emerging technology that has many applications and offers an innovative way to create unique or personalised objects. It can be prohibitively expensive for consumers or small businesses to invest in a 3D printer, so we are launching a pilot to gauge interest in 3D printing to sit alongside Royal Mail’s e-commerce and delivery capability.”

Romain Kidd, CEO of the iMakr Group, said: "iMakr is excited to bring to Royal Mail its expertise in 3D printing by offering customers an introduction into 3D printing through one if it Central London delivery offices and a selection of objects from Royal Mail customers will find unique objects created by the best community of designers for 3D printing, a market in rapid development for which is delivering key 3D printable content and products like MyMiniFactory TV."

Read more: Royal Mail launches 3D printing trial with iMakr.


“Secure” Canada Post community mailboxes breached

BRANDON — A community mailbox was pried open by vandals this week, leaving residents not only inconvenienced but concerned about protecting personal information.

The multi-unit mailboxes are currently being installed throughout Manitoba, replacing postal home delivery. They were initially promoted as being secure from theft.

Officers found Wednesday one group of Brandon boxes had been broken into, while the culprits were unsuccessful in their attempt to force open a second block of boxes.Police say they don’t know if anything was stolen from the mailboxes, located near Cornell Bay.

Read more: Community mailboxes breached – Winnipeg Free Press.


Royal Mail’s Ofcom review sparks share price fall

Shares in the Royal Mail are down 2.5% after Ofcom ruled the universal postal service, which obliges the Royal Mail to deliver across the UK for one price, is not under threat.

The regulator Ofcom said it saw no reason to change rules to force rivals to take on part of that obligation.

However, Ofcom said it would review the factors affecting Royal Mail’s ability to deliver the universal service.

via BBC News – Royal Mail's Ofcom review sparks share price fall.


Royal Mail ‘scaremongering’ over rural deliveries rubbished by regulators

Royal Mail’s stark warning that its same-price postal service is under threat were rubbished by regulators today.

Ofcom said the postal firm’s legal obligation to deliver letters anywhere in the country for the same price was not being undermined from rival online companies.

It revealed it would not impose new conditions on Royal Mail’s competitors like Amazon and TNT, in a blow to the postal service.

via Royal Mail 'scaremongering' over rural deliveries rubbished by regulators | Daily Mail Online.


Amazon: We are not trying to destroy Royal Mail

Amazon has been accused of many things in the last two years, including not paying its taxes, damaging the high street, and mistreating staff. But now it is also fighting claims that it is trying to destroy Royal Mail.

Shares in the postal service have slumped after it warned that parcel revenues are not growing as quickly as expected because Amazon has launched its own delivery service.

However, Christopher North, the boss of Amazon in the UK, has insisted the online US retailer has no intention of killing Royal Mail with its own delivery business Amazon Logistics.

“Amazon Logistics is not about replacing a carrier, it is about complementing,” North said in an interview ahead of Black Friday, which he expects to be Amazon’s biggest ever day in the UK.

via Amazon: We are not trying to destroy Royal Mail – Telegraph.