Residents turn on striking postal staff Times poll reveals
PUBLISHED: 15:44 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 17:18 25 August 2010
RESIDENTS are overwhelmingly against strikes being taken by postal workers, according to a Times poll. Our poll of 60 people in Bexley found 37 against Royal Mail strike action and just 13 in support, with 10 not registering an opinion. Sympathy and pat
RESIDENTS are overwhelmingly against strikes being taken by postal workers, according to a Times poll.
Our poll of 60 people in Bexley found 37 against Royal Mail strike action and just 13 in support, with 10 not registering an opinion.
Sympathy and patience is wearing thin over strikes held last Wednesday and Thursday, with more planned today (Thursday), tomorrow and Saturday unless agreement can be reached.
Many people in the poll were still waiting for important bills and letters as Royal Mail announced on Monday the backlog was down to 5 million letters.
The overriding view from rank and file people in the street was that the postal workers are lucky to have jobs given the worst economic downturn since the war.
Lamorbey pensioner John Edmonds, 77, said the workers "have cut their own throats" with private firms lining up to take Royal Mail's business.
Postal workers, led by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), are striking over what it calls "change through bullying instead of agreement."
The CWU claim its members are having their work load increased to a point where they can't finish their shift on time.
Royal Mail and the CWU have disagreed over the Pay and Modernisation Agreement set out in 2007, relating to future working conditions, job numbers, efficiency and pay. They have accused each other of trying to scupper the negotiation process.
Leanne Williamson, 24, of Sidcup Hill, said: "It's going to be a nightmare if the strike action carries on until Christmas.
"It's already created havoc with my bills being stuck in the post. Fortunately the utilities have been very understanding but how long will their patience last?"
Kay Smith runs Supply and Demand, a leading provider of teaching staff to schools in Bexley and Bromley.
Mrs Smith said: "We are waiting for cheques to come in so this strike is hitting our bank balance. There's a stack of invoices we need to get out but we know full well they will be delayed because of a huge backlog in the system. It's dreadful."
But Pamela Heath, from Sidcup, said: "I worry for a lot of the workers, some have spent 20 years in their positions and will not get the pensions they are entitled to. That to me is unacceptable."
The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said industrial action by postal workers has cost London firms more than £500 million since the start of the summer.
It calculated the two days of strikes last week alone cost the London economy an estimated £200 million.
Colin Stanbridge, chief executive of the LCCI said: "This is a colossal amount of money for the London economy to lose and will delay the capital's economic recovery.
"Not being able to rely on a normal postal service forces companies to pay extra for couriers, delays consumer spending, damages client relationships and plays havoc with a firm's cash flow."
He said it was now "high time" Business Secretary Lord Mandelson intervened to broker a deal between Royal Mail and the CWU and bring an immediate end
to industrial action.
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