REPRESENTATION TO THE GOVERNMENT AND OFCOM ON THE POSTAL USO
The CWU has today sent the attached open letters to Government and Ofcom expressing our serious concerns about IDS plc’s pursuit of a reduction in the Universal Service Obligation (USO) to five day letter delivery, as announced by the company last week.
The letter to Ofcom also raises our concerns about Royal Mail’s attempt to undermine the postal universal service through under funding of USO activities and prioritising of non-USO commercial services.
This is an issue that has been covered in the press, including in a Sunday Times article on 13th November which raises concerns about staff being told to leave letters behind and prioritise profitable parcels. The full article is available online at the following link: https://archive.ph/WcI6Y.
The Yorkshire Evening Post and Decision Marketing have also covered the issue, highlighting concerns of Royal Mail employees and the direct mail industry about letters being delayed. The articles can be found at the following links:
When Royal Mail was privatised in 2013, the Government rejected concerns from CWU and other stakeholders about the future of the universal service obligation (USO) and gave assurances that privatisation would not affect postal services.
Another article in the Times (Royal Mail’s plea to end six-day deliveries rejected, The Times, 18th November) reports that in June the government rejected a request from Royal Mail to cut its legal obligation to deliver letters to businesses and homes from six days a week to five. However, the article also states that Royal Mail is understood to believe it is now making headway with the Business Department on this issue.
The CWU is calling on the Government to reject Royal Mail’s request and to provide urgent assurances that the six-day letter delivery service will continue to be enshrined in primary legislation. Additionally, we are also calling on the Government to support an expanded role for postal workers. This can be done by using the advantage of daily deliveries to 32 million addresses to develop new products and services that can add social and economic value to our communities and businesses, ensuring the sustainability of Royal Mail in the long-term.
We are calling on Ofcom to launch an urgent investigation into what can only be described as a deliberate attempt by Royal Mail to run down and undermine the postal USO.
Any enquiries on the above LTB should be addressed to the General Secretary’s Office at email@example.com
Dave Ward Andy Furey
General Secretary Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)