Put service not competition first, says CWU at postal conference
1st June 2012
For immediate release
Put service not competition first, says CWU at postal
The UK's regulatory experience should serve as a stark
warning to those who value a quality Universal Postal Service, CWU
tells an international conference on postal economics today
The Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics brings together
economists, academics and industry stakeholders from across the
world. CWU is the biggest union for the UK postal industry and
hopes its research will act as a cautionary tale for other
Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said:
"UK regulators have recklessly put competition ahead of the
importance of Universal Service provision and that's what
we're sharing with international industry stakeholders today.
It's a sobering tale which we hope they'll take note of.
"We've been making these arguments for years, but only
now do business leaders appear to be listening to our concerns, and
this in the face of rising prices and scaling-back the UK's
"A different approach to regulation is needed in the UK if
we are to preserve our end-to-end delivery network and keep a
quality delivery network for customers across the UK."
The conference is hosted by the Centre for Research in Regulated
Industries, part of the Rutgers Business School. Attendees include
UK and international mail companies - Royal Mail, UPS, DHL among
others - trade unions, economists, academics and consultants.
CWU head of international relations John
Baldwin explains: "Our research paper takes stock of
the UK's experience of regulation.
"UK regulators have consistently put competition first and
this has had a damaging effect on postal services. What we're
arguing for is a Service First approach. Service First is not an
argument against increasing efficiency, or an entrenched position
based on protecting narrow self interest. It is a call for caution,
and most importantly, it is a position based on respect for the
value people place on the postal service.
"We hope that other stakeholders will be able to learn from
the sobering reality of the UK experience."
CWU is the largest trade union for postal workers in the UK with
members in Royal Mail, Parcelforce, Post Office, and UK Mail.
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