Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Dispute at Royal Mail gets political

As more postal strikes hit the UK (see yesterday's entry) the temperature in the dispute has heated up with calls from Business Secretary Lord Mandelson for the Trade Union to "wake up" and help stop the further decline of the business. His comments have been declared "an absolute disgrace" by senior members of the Trade Union, who have also claimed that government ministers are attempting to destroy the Trade Union. Lord Mandelson has also refused to get actively involved in the dispute, leaving both sides to slog it out between themselves. Royal Mail are insistent that the door remains open for further discussions about how modernisation can be introduced. Small businesses are understandably concerned that this will negatively affect them, and there is also a worry (denied by the Royal Mail) that the delivery of this week's A Level results may be delayed. Royal Mail has already made it public that they are in a tight financial position and that cuts are inevitable.
  • Why might Lord Mandelson on behalf of the Labour Government refuse to intervene in the dispute?
  • Earlier this week the Government also declined to become involved in the call for a Commission on High Pay in UK businesses. What might be the reasons behind this, and are there some arguments between employers and Trade Unions (or groups of employees) where it would be essential for the Government to become involved?
  • What other Trade Unions are represented within Royal Mail?
  • Research Activity: Explore the history of the Trade Union Movement and its links with the Labour Party

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