Ofcom Review into Royal Mail – Update on People’s Post Campaign
As you may have seen, Ofcom published a number of proposals this morning in the latest stage of its review of the way Royal Mail is regulated. The union’s press statement which was issued in response to this is attached.
Ofcom launched its review following the withdrawal of Whistl from the delivery market and in the wake of this it originally intended to introduce a number of stronger measures to further promote competition, potentially re-introduce damaging price controls and impose efficiency targets.
In its announcement today Ofcom has not gone as far on new regulatory measures as anticipated and we believe this is a direct result of the People’s Post campaign and the increased scrutiny this has placed on Ofcom’s actions. It is important that you convey to our members the role our campaign has played in softening some elements of Ofcom’s approach.
However, while it has held back from introducing specific targets on efficiency, Ofcom has again called on Royal Mail to adopt “flexible” employment models and is emphasising the need for Royal Mail to take further steps to improve efficiency. Ofcom has also failed to limit unfair cherry-picking competition or introduce protections for customers from poor practices by competitors in the parcels industry.
The CWU is highlighting the aforementioned in our public response to today’s announcement, with particular emphasis on saying that Ofcom’s approach to efficiency places unnecessary pressure on our members and represents an undercutter’s charter for all workers in the industry.
These developments underline the importance of the People’s Post campaign and the need for us to continue to put Ofcom and the Government under pressure. The next stage of this campaign is the public rally in Birmingham on 4th June and we would urge all Branches to send a delegation and make this a priority commitment.
Further information on Ofcom’s announcement will follow in due course.
Dave WardRay Ellis
General SecretaryActing Deputy General Secretary (P)
CWU criticises Ofcom for an undercutter’s charter for workers in the postal industry
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) which represents 130,000 employees in the postal industry responded to Ofcom’s review of the regulation of Royal Mail, which was published this morning, by criticising the regulator for again pushing for insecure and inferior employment standards in the postal industry.
The CWU cautiously welcomed the fact that Ofcom had publicly recognised the need to put the protection of daily deliveries at the heart of regulation, in line with the union’s People’s Post campaign, by opting not not to introduce new forms of price controls on Royal Mail.
However, it also highlighted the fact that Ofcom was storing up problems by leaving in place cherry-picking competition in a market under pressure from e-substitution and that it had failed to take any action to protect consumers in the parcels industry.
Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU, said ‘Ofcom is again telling postal workers that they have to work harder, faster and cheaper in a report that represents an undercutter’s charter for people working in the postal industry.
‘It is completely unacceptable for a regulator to be calling for the adoption of insecure and so-called “flexible” employment models piling pressure on 130,000 jobs in Royal Mail. The role of the body in charge of the industry should be to safeguard employment standards rather than taking its cue from city investors and pushing for a race to the bottom.’
Ray Ellis, Deputy General Secretary (Postal) of the CWU, said ‘We welcome the fact that Ofcom has backed off of repeating previous mistakes with regulation having pushed Royal Mail to the brink of insolvency in 2011. But it has left in place cherry-picking competition in a letters market in long term decline and has done nothing to protect consumers in a parcels market that is like the wild-west for service standards.’
The CWU will be holding a major public rally as the next stage of its People’s Post campaign in Birmingham on 4th June when it will be calling for new protections on employment, an end to unfair competition and Royal Mail to be brought back into public ownership.