Thursday, October 08, 2009

UK Mail Mounts As Amazon Votes With Its Feet

Earlier this week we wrote about the challenges that Royal Mail has given Internet commerce and small businesses. Now comes what could be a killer blow in the news that Royal Mail has now lost a crucial contract with its second largest customer, Amazon. Now parcels over 500 grams and will use a rival service, Home Delivery Network (HDN), which also used by other large home delivery services such as Tesco and Argos.

The news of a national strike announcement by the Communication Workers Union is likely to introduce further competition. Local strikes have been spreading with 24-hour stoppages hitting major cities across the country and the service being at best inconsistent and at worst non-existent.

The strikes is not only hitting Amazon others such as eBay whose small business users are now being effectively penalised by negative customer feedback and on their online reliability ratings.


Inkling said...

Both the U.S. and U.K. seem to have lost touch with the original dynamic of working for the government, especially in areas vital to the economy like the postal service. The original "deal" behind such work was that workers gave up a higher income and the ability to strike for a stable, assured income even in recessions. When other people were being laid off at the mill, the postman still had his job.

Now government jobs often pay more in wages and benefits than their equivalents in the private sector, with school teaching being a prime example. The result isn't good. Strikes for still higher wages. Business mail and packages turning to the now-greater stability of private business. And those ever-higher wages of government employees are being funded by still-higher taxes, leading to budget deficits.

Some in this system seem to want the old way. My postman is very depressed by the decline in mail volume in the latest recession. My mail used to come around one in the afternoon. Now there's so little in circulation that it often comes before noon. Meanwhile, the neighborhood is busy with UPS and FedEx delivery vehicles.

Life is often a 'pick two out of three' choice. In the end, government employees who have picked high pay and comfortable working conditions may find they've lost job security.

Martyn Daniels said...

pick two out of three - i like it and use the same logic on project discussions with clients scope / time / cost - you can have two but i own the other

the shame about the postal service is what once was a bedrock is falling apart because of it's workforce's refusal to move