This weekâ€™s edition of The Economist arrived in the post this morning. Not an unusual event, really, except it reminded me that last weekâ€™s didnâ€™t show up until Tuesday because of the postal strike for three days. Which followed the two-day strike the week before.
During this week, Iâ€™ve noticed more companiesâ€™ websites with statements saying that if you buy from them, delivery wonâ€™t be affected as they donâ€™t use Royal Mail.
Retailer John Lewis has switched entirely from the Royal Mail to alternate carriers.
Then I read articles and features in the mainstream media analysing the situation confronting the Royal Mail and everyone who works there. Itâ€™s a dire projected picture as this graph from a BBC report last month suggests.
So whatâ€™s next for the Royal Mail and the CWU union? The strike the union had planned for today and Monday isnâ€™t happening as both parties are talking again amidst signs of diminishing public support for either sideâ€™s confrontational position.
Meanwhile, hereâ€™s whatâ€™s going in in the real world of the customers, strike or not.
The owner of a mail order business in Liverpool:
I have a mail order company with a turnover of Â£30 million and I employ over 200 staff. I have just stopped a contract with Royal Mail for over Â£1 million and I will not return to them.
A small business owner in Rugby:
As I run a small business I must take immediate action to ensure my invoices are delivered to my customers. The unions and the Royal Mail have forced me to invest in some new software allowing me to e-mail my invoices, statements and remittance advices. I cannot see any circumstances were my business would return to using slow mail.
An online retailer in Durham:
I’ve just moved my e-commerce store deliveries from Royal Mail to couriers and I don’t think I’ll be going back either.
Just a very small cross section of opinion from small and medium-size businesses in the UK, to add to the headline-making actions by the bigger firms like Amazon and John Lewis.
Whatever your cause, driving away the customers makes no sense whatsoever.