Delivery cuts threat may hit local mail jobs

Paul Fenney, Royal Mail
Paul Fenney, Royal Mail

THE leader of Wigan’s postal union has warned of job cuts should universal delivery end.

His fears were prompted by a warning from Royal Mail that it may soon no longer be able to afford its age-old pledge because of increasing competition on valuable “walks”.

The recently-privatised postal service said the universal service obligation (USO) requiring it to deliver to any address in the country six days a week - which has been in place since 1839 - could become unsustainable if delivery competitors are able to cherry-pick profitable parts of the country to deliver letters to.

Branch secretary of the Union of Communication Workers Paul Fenney (pictured) said staff were fearful of the end of the delivery to homes and businesses which would affect Wigan jobs.

And he warned that this may result from the Coalition’s controversial privatisation of the service it fought to prevent.

He said: “The impact of unfair competition can be seen clearly in the North West, with postal delivery companies blatantly cherry-picking where it delivers using zero-hour contracts and paying below the Living Wage, risking a race to the bottom on employment standards and service quality in the postal sector.

“Rather than creating new postal jobs, end to end competitors are replacing decent postal jobs with insecure employment on poverty pay.

“As we approach the busiest time of the year for Royal Mail, postmen and women in Wigan will be working hard delivering letters and parcels six-days-a-week, right up to Christmas Eve.

“But amid such unfettered competition in the postal sector, it will be difficult for Royal Mail to sustain its duty to deliver the universal service obligation in the coming years.