Postal strike threat to small businesses

Small UK firms could be in for a tough few months, as concerns over a first national postal strike for 7 years continue to grow.


Small UK firms could be in for a tough few months, as concerns over a first national postal strike for 7 years continue to grow.

Small UK firms could be in for a tough few months, as concerns over a first national postal strike for 7 years continue to grow.

According to David Bishop, spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, “loss of the delivery network will have a significant impact on small firms.”

Last week, talks between the Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) – concerning a new pay deal for the UK’s 160,000 postmen and women – broke down. This leaves hopes of a swift resolution to the dispute looking increasingly slim.

The CWU believes that the Royal Mail’s 14.5% pay offer has “too many strings attached” and is now preparing to ballot its members over the possibility of strike action. A decision is expected by mid-September.

Small businesses are likely to be hit hard by any action because, as Bishop explains, despite the development of new forms of communication like e-mail “post is still very important for small businesses as cheques, contracts and other important legal documents all still have to arrive via this route.”

And unhappily, there seems to be very little small firms can do to shield themselves from the effects of postal walkouts. “You can try contacting your key suppliers to see if they are capable of forwarding documents to you electronically,” suggests Bishop, “but many firms will be doing this already. Unfortunately, [your options] are fairly limited.”

(18/8/03)

Related Topics

Leave a comment