BUSINESSES could minimise the effect of this week s postal strike by using an alternative postal service. Although only the Royal Mail s postmen and women actually deliver the mail through letterboxes, other companies can carry it as far as the sorting of
BUSINESSES could minimise the effect of this week's postal strike by using an alternative postal service.
Although only the Royal Mail's postmen and women actually deliver the mail through letterboxes, other companies can carry it as far as the sorting office, says Stuart Searle, managing director of Huntingdon-based direct mail company First Mailing.
"If the Royal Mail is on strike and can't collect, as this week and next, someone else puts it into the system further down the line, so that either the delay is minimised or there's no delay at all," he told The Hunts Post.
"We know when these strikes are, and we can work around them, but longer strikes would impact a lot."
The two-week programme of action over a pay offer and modernisation plans, drawn up to "maximise disruption to all Royal Mail services" begins at 7pm this evening (Wednesday) and goes on until Friday. The process is due to be repeated from 3am on July 31 until August 2.
First Mailing says the impact of these strikes, on businesses in particular, is far-reaching - from non-receipt of money and job applications to vital documentation.
"Despite the national awareness of the strikes, not all companies will be able to organise their communications around the union action. We have a whole host of customers who might otherwise be affected, were it not for their industry knowledge of the situation and the presence in the market place of other postal operators, Mr Searle said.
"The two sides need to negotiate and agree a way forward soon or other postal operators will be happy to see their decline - this could end up an own goal for Royal Mail.
"Some of our customers produce time sensitive publications and we do our best to work around the situation for them - more and more we are using other consolidators where appropriate. This has the potential for devastating effect on smaller, less well established businesses especially if the action is further scaled up."
There have been two previous 24-hour stoppages on Thursdays July 5 and 12. There has also been separate action by Post Office workers over pay and branch closures.