At the end of April, Royal Mail announced that it would temporarily stop delivering letters on Saturdays in response to the coronavirus crisis. It says that the suspension of its commitment to six-days-a-week delivery is necessary to deal with factors such as coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures.
This decision was taken without consulting with front line workers, or their union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and it raised concerns that this was the first step towards abandoning the six-day delivery universal service requirement entirely.
However, Royal Mail has since stated that Saturday deliveries will resume from 13 June.
Although this update is welcome, I am still concerned that the decision to suspend the Saturday deliveries, and therefore temporarily abandon Royal Mail’s required six-day delivery universal service, was taken without consultation.
I can assure you that I will continue to follow this issue closely.
More widely, I believe that the privatisation of Royal Mail was a disaster and should be reversed as soon as possible. As we have seen during the coronavirus crisis, and beforehand, the postal service is an essential service and therefore must be run in the interests of the people, not for profiteering individuals.
I pay tribute to our postal workers on the front line of this crisis. They are working around the clock to keep the country connected at this time when we most need it. It is vitally important that they are able to remain safe while doing so. It is the legal duty of employers to make workplaces safe and it is essential that everyone feels that their health, and the health of those they live with, is not put at risk as they go to work.