Last chance saloon for Royal Mail and CWU

ukmail Driving home from Lancashire on Thursday night, I passed a number of big white articulated trucks on the M6 motorway heading south.

Only one had logos or signage although I’m assuming all were doing the same thing – transporting the mail which the Royal Mail couldn’t do because of a national strike during Thursday and Friday.

The truck with signage was UK Mail, a unit of Business Post Group plc which says it is “the largest independent parcels, mail and logistics services company within the UK.” It’s also one of many alternative services that have had great opportunities open up because of what’s happening with the dispute between the Royal Mail and the CWU trade union over restructuring an analogue business for the digital age (it’s a complex situation with a sorry history).

Yesterday, the Royal Mail postmen were back at work, delivering the mail again to homes and businesses up and down the country. I got five items through the letterbox: The Economist, just a day late; and four letters. What I immediately noticed about the letters was that not one of them had the postal frank of the Royal Mail: instead, all were franked ‘UK Mail’ (photo above).

I suppose the only good thing about the postal strike, from a customer point of view, is that there’s been no junk mail – no pizza or Indian tale-away menus, offers for double glazing and other crap. A nice respite!

Speaking of The Economist – an organization that places great stock in a reliable postal service to deliver its product to subscribers in a timely fashion – they make interesting contingency plans as an email on Thursday explained:


I wonder what their stats would show for website accesses and audio edition downloads. On the rise, I bet.

The CWU has called for three days of more strikes for the coming week. I call that nail-in-the-coffin suicide, to mix a few metaphors.

It certainly won’t be painless.

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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