Seumas Milne in the Guardian:
…the clearest sign of who is behind the breakdown is the fact that while the CWU has been offering to go to the conciliation service Acas for talks without preconditions, the company – backed by the government – has refused to do so unless the stoppages are called off, while ostentatiously recruiting 30,000 casual workers to cut the ground from beneath its staff.
Against that background, it’s hardly surprising that the postal workers’ leader, Billy Hayes, concludes: “They’re trying to break the power of the union and its influence in the workplace.” If that’s the case, there will be months of disruption and mayhem. This is an industry blighted by years of under-investment, threats of privatisation and a regulatory regime rigged in favour of private competitors. While it’s true that the internet (along with the recession) is cutting letter volumes, it’s also expanding the packages and parcels business as more people shop online.