- postalnews blog

Royal Mail in spotlight again as MPs question bankers who handled sell-off

The Royal Mail privatisation will be the subject of fresh scrutiny by MPs next week when bankers from Goldman Sachs and UBS – which handled the sell-off of the 500-year-old institution – are summoned to give evidence to a high-profile parliamentary committee.

The public accounts committee, chaired by Margaret Hodge, who has previously conducted tough evidence sessions on corporate tax, will also hear from top City regulators and senior executives at Royal Mail at sessions next week.

Her committee, which convened the Royal Mail hearings in the wake of the National Audit Office’s damning verdict on the privatisation, is expected to scrutinise how 16 City firms were allowed priority access to the shares.

Read more: Royal Mail in spotlight again as MPs question bankers who handled sell-off | UK news | The Guardian.

Strikes (and the threat of more strikes) pay off for UK postal workers

24th April 2014 0

An agreement that will see a pay increase of up to 7.3 per cent for Crown Post Office workers has been reached between the CWU and Post Office Limited this week, following months of negotiations and industrial action.

Talks for a pay deal began last year following CWU Post Office counter staff walking out across the UK in March 2013 after an 88 per cent strike vote in a national ballot.

The milestone pay deal covers three years and includes pay rises and one-off lump sums for staff working in the Post Office’s Crown network.

The deal includes:

  • 3.9 per cent pay increase from 1st April 2014
  • Payment of a further 3.4 per cent paid in 1 per cent instalments when targeted savings are achieved

This pay deal results in a £2,300 lump sum paid to post office workers with the remaining £1,000 paid in 2014/15 through two equal instalments of £500.

The CWU represents over 200,000 postal and telecommunication workers.

CWU national officer Andy Furey said: “This is an excellent settlement that is the result of long and difficult negotiations. Post Office workers have been very patient in waiting for this well-deserved pay deal since the first industrial action was taken in March last year.

“We have worked with the Post Office to come up with ideas that have helped to achieve a result significantly different from where we started at the beginning of the dispute. We have no hesitation in recommending this pay deal to postal workers in an individual member ballot, which will take place shortly.”

CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said: “There’s no doubt that the solid action taken by postal workers across the UK has helped us achieve this very good three-year pay settlement.

“This has been one of the most protracted disputes this union has ever been involved in and we have made considerable progress to get where we now are.”

FedEx takes a page from Canada Post playbook with new locations at Home Hardware

TORONTO — As more Canadians turn to online shopping, FedEx hopes an agreement to open shipping centres at Home Hardware Stores Ltd. will help it grab a larger piece of the growing e-commerce market.

Federal Express Canada Ltd. said Wednesday that the centres, which serve as mini-hubs, will offer more “points of access” for customers to drop off and pick up parcels.

The new FedEx locations will look very similar to the Canada Post outlets that are tucked into stores operated by Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu (TSX:PJC.A) and others such as convenience stores and news stands across the country. They would operate similar to the FedEx storefronts that are situated primarily in urban centres.

Read more: FedEx takes a page from Canada Post playbook with new locations at Home Hardware | Fort Frances Times Online.

Calgary woman’s letter arrives in the mail, 45 years late

When the letter was sent in 1969, Anne Tingle was a new mom, more concerned with diapers than mankind’s first lunar landing only eight days earlier.

But even Apollo 11′s enthralling three-day, 384,400-km trip to the moon pales in comparison to the 45 years it took that little envelope to travel just 200 km, before it finally touched down in Tingle’s mailbox last week.

“The first thing I noticed was the six cent stamp — Her Majesty looked very different back then,” laughs Tingle.

Read more: Calgary woman’s letter arrives in the mail, 45 years late | Columnists | Opinion | Calgary Sun.

Cotswolds postmistress Karen Judd accused of stealing valuables from parcels

A postmistress in a Cotswolds village stole thousands of pounds of parcels containing jewellery, clothing and antiques, it was alleged in court yesterday.

Karen Judd, who worked in the post office in Painswick, Gloucestershire, is accused of intercepting packages containing valuable rings and a brooch, as well as cash and other items, including a mobile phone, an iPod and a clock.

But it was the two parcels of jewellery which went missing that proved the postmistress was a thief, a jury was told yesterday.

Read more: Cotswolds postmistress Karen Judd accused of stealing valuables from parcels | Western Daily Press.

Royal Mail rival TNT blamed for postal chaos in north London

Thousands of Londoners are battling postal chaos they blame on Royal Mail’s doorstep rival.

Homeowners in Mill Hill, Harrow and other parts of north and west London blame TNT Post for a wide array of errors, with some residents saying “lazy” TNT postmen are dumping a whole street’s mail in one customer’s letter box for them to distribute to their neighbours.

Others report that they have missed sensitive bank correspondence and failed to pay bills after letters were continuously delivered to their old home, despite paying Royal Mail as much as £54.99 for six months’ diverted mail services.

Read more: Royal Mail rival TNT blamed for postal chaos in north London – London – News – London Evening Standard.

TNT posties dumping your letters in bushes: Rivals to Royal Mail accused of ditching deliveries to earn more

Thousands of letters are being dumped or delivered late by Royal Mail’s doorstep rival.

Customers blame TNT Post for missed hospital appointments, lost bills and delayed medical test results.

The company’s orange-clad staff are paid according to how quick they are – giving them an incentive to ditch mail.

Letters have been found dumped in undergrowth in Manchester and London.

via TNT posties dumping your letters in bushes: Rivals to Royal Mail accused of ditching deliveries to earn more | Mail Online.

Video: Canada Post Richmond BC plant causing major mail delays says union

A $200-million Canada Post processing plant that opened in Richmond, B.C. earlier this year is experiencing technical difficulties with its automated sorting system, creating backlogs and delays in mail delivery services, according to union officials and customers.

Read the rest of this entry »

New Royal Mail stamp issue chronicles the history of Buckingham Palace

buck_634x323Royal Mail today launches a ten-stamp issue that celebrates the history of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of The Queen.
Six stamps explore the different appearance of this iconic building over the centuries while a four-stamp miniature sheet celebrates the opulence of its interior.

Royal Mail commissioned the artwork used for the 2014 stamp. The watercolour of the present day exterior of the Palace was painted by the artist Chris Draper.

The stamps are available from Opens in new window, by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK

ASBPlargeBuckingham Palace is one of the few remaining working royal palaces in the world today and provides the setting for ceremonies and formal entertaining, as well as the Prime Minister’s weekly audience with The Queen.

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail spokesperson, said; “This stamp issue illustrates the development of Buckingham Palace from the private house built by the Duke of Buckingham 300 years ago to one of the most iconic buildings in the world.

“Buckingham Palace is one of the most recognised landmarks in the UK and is a source of pride to the nation; it forms a huge part of our heritage, so it’s fitting Royal Mail has been able to dedicate a stamp issue to this most famous of addresses.”

MZBPlargeThe history of Buckingham Palace can be traced back to the early 17th century, when a mulberry garden was established on the site to breed silk worms. A house built near the garden for Lord Goring in 1633 was replaced, after a fire, on a larger scale by the next occupant, Henry Bennet, Secretary of State to King Charles II and later first Earl of Arlington. In 1698, Arlington House was acquired by John Sheffield, who was created Duke of Buckingham in 1703.

It was the Duke of Buckingham who transformed the site by demolishing the existing building and erecting an ambitious brick house with a three-storeyed central block and flanking pavilions.

This basic plan of Buckingham House formed the core of the future palace and dictated all subsequent development. Facing the Mall – the grand tree-lined avenue running along the north side of St James’s Park – and with a large formal garden at the back, it was an impressive residence benefitting from an excellent location and magnificent views.

In 1761, King George III bought the house as a private residence following his marriage to Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburgh-Strelitz. However, it did not make for a comfortable home. By this time, many features of Buckingham House were out of fashion. To adapt the house to his tastes and needs, King George III put architect Sir William Chambers in charge. After Queen Charlotte settled in the upstairs rooms in 1775, the residence was known as the Queen’s House and became the centre of royal life.

The main developments by John Nash in the early 19th century to transformed it into a Royal Palace, and Queen Victoria’s expansion of the building created a new front facing the Mall.

The 20th century saw King Edward VII set about redecorating much of the interior in its distinctive white and gold décor.

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Vancouver Park Board says no mailboxes in city parks

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Canada Post is moving towards community mailboxes as it gets out of the home delivery business.

The question is where are they going put them?

Now, the Vancouver Park Board is making sure that wherever they do go, it won’t be in any of the city’s green spaces.

Read more: Park Board says no mailboxes in city parks | News1130.