Union Highlighting Threat To Scilly’s Post

Scilly could be faced with a reduced mail service and much higher prices under Government plans to deregulate the postal industry.

That’s the stark warning from the Communication Workers Union, who this week launched a campaign to highlight the threat to the UK’s universal postal service, particularly in rural communities.

Kevin Beazer from the CWU says since it was first set up, Royal Mail has charged standard rates to send letters and parcels to and from anywhere in the UK.

He said that’s possible because more profitable parts of the business are used to subsidise those that make less money.

But the union says private companies are now cherry-picking those profitable services and this could become worse if plans to privatise the industry go ahead in 2014. In particular, the companies set up agreements where Royal Mail staff are expected to deliver post the so-called ‘final mile’ to the door.

From Radio Scilly

Kevin Beazer explains the threat to the postal service

Kevin says private companies like TNT want to operate in towns and cities where delivery is easier and they can make the most money, and won’t want to deliver in rural areas like Scilly.

And he says the experience from other deregulated services in Europe shows that prices in rural areas “go through the roof” and services are often reduced to a few deliveries a week.

Kevin said people in Scilly expect a 6-day-a-week service at a reasonable price and if privatisation takes place, it’s customers in remote locations that will be affected most.

The union are lobbying parliament today and intend to hold a ballot on action to boycott deliveries of competitors’ mail. This would mean that any mail sent via a company other than Royal Mail would not be delivered.