SNP CALLS FOR GUARANTEE OF RETURN OF SATURDAY DELIVERIES

2nd May 2020

ROYAL MAIL MUST PROVIDE CLARITY ON WHEN SERVICE WILL RETURN

In a letter to Royal Mail CEO, Rico Back, SNP MP, Marion Fellows, has called for the Royal Mail to review its decision to end Saturday deliveries and for a guarantee and clarity on when full service will return.

Ending Saturday deliveries goes against Royal Mail’s Universal Service Obligation. People will now have to wait at least three days for letters sent on a Friday.

Royal Mail said that ending Saturday deliveries is “temporary”, but have provided no clarity on when the service will return. They say the decision to end Saturday deliveries was made due to “high levels of coronavirus-related absences and necessary social distancing measures”.

On National Postal Workers Day on Wednesday, Mrs Fellows and the SNP called on the UK Government to renationalise Royal Mail to ensure workers welfare and services are maintained in the public interest.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Royal Mail must bring Saturday deliveries back and commit to engaging constructively with the Communications Workers Union on any changes to service or conditions and find a mutually agreed solution.

“Royal Mail have provided no clarity on when Saturday deliveries will return. They must to commit to a date or criteria to give reassurances that it will in fact return and that this is not part of a long term plan to tear apart a valued service.

“The Universal Service Obligation is being undermined and both communities and the workforce will be adversely impacted by this decision.

“Royal Mail must be brought back into public ownership so its workforce and the public can oversee and achieve the service we expect.”

Mrs Fellows letter to Royal CEO, Rico Back

Dear Mr Back,

I am writing to you regarding Royal Mail’s announcement that Saturday deliveries for most items will now be ended.

While I understand now is an exceptionally busy time for Royal Mail and that absences will be affecting service, I am concerned that the decision to end Saturday deliveries is undermining the Universal Service Obligation.

This decision could have a negative impact on Postal Workers – despite Royal Mail’s stated intention. But it could also have a drastic impact on communities who not only rely on Royal Mail’s services, but also the community links that many Postal Workers provide. Royal Mail must be able to act in the interests of its workers and the communities it serves. I do not believe the decision to end Saturday deliveries reflects these obligations.

I was very concerned to hear that the Communications Workers Union was not consulted on this decision despite a Royal Mail statement saying that it had “listened to [your] hardworking colleagues”. It is essential and fair for the union to be consulted on any changes to service or conditions rather than decisions being made and passed down from management. Will you agree to continuing Saturday deliveries whilst a full and proper consultation is carried out with the CWU in order to find an alternative and mutually agreed solution?

I am concerned that the end of Saturday deliveries will continue past the covid-19 pandemic. Will you commit to bringing back Saturday deliveries as before; and will you provide clarity on a date or criteria for when Postal Workers and communities can expect this service to return if no alternative solution will be sought?

Sincerely,

Marion Fellows MP