Saturday, 19 September 2009
In Defence Of The Postmen
So, it saved the firm a fortune in overtime and postmen also got to go home early on quiet days.
But soon after all of this Royal Mail stopped taking on full time postmen. Every time a full time postman left/retired/got the sack he was replaced by a part timer on (say) a thirty hour contract and the remaining full time postmen would then absorb the ten hours of work (between the forty hour job and the new thirty hour postman).
This of course led to a gradually increasing workload for the remaining full time postmen.
Fast forward about five years to today and in most delivery offices the full time/part time ratio is about fifty fifty.
You can imagine the increased workload.
Where in the past there was a 'swings and roundabouts' approach to things (you'll make time somedays lose time others) now it's a case of 'you'll lose a little time some days and a lot of time others'.
If a postman asks a manager to be paid for the extra work he has to do (some days up to three hours) he's told 'job and finish' - you'll make up the time on quiet days, which of course now is rubbish.
So postmen are now working probably about forty five hours a week for forty hours pay - which is okay if you're salaried but postmen are NOT they are contracted to be paid by the hour.
So there you have it. The actual CRUX of the dispute.
There are other things going on of course and management and the union will fall out all day long, but for postmen it's all about being forced to work for nothing.
How do I know all this - well it's because I am a postman of course!!