On Friday 12,000 postal workers from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) took part in strike action across the country over a row about jobs, pay and services. The Royal Mail claims this has not affected the mail service, but even if that rings true, there are clearly long-term issues coming to the surface.
The Royal Mail has been massively damaged by the rise of modern technologies that they cannot compete with. Since firms and individuals can now send and receive emails within seconds, the delivery of letters has started to become obsolete. Internet technology has produced an information highway with unprecedented capacities. The Royal Mail has failed to advance and keep up with modern communication. Unless they take action to modernise, they will be reduced to delivering Christmas cards and junk mail. The unions are acting as a massive barrier to any modernisation, failing to see that cuts need to be made if the Royal Mail is going to survive.
As we are currently in a period of rising unemployment, it makes sense that the greatest job losses in the economy should come from the most inefficient sectors. The interference of the unions in the efficiency of the postal service means the Royal Mail will remain stuck in this rut until it fails. A privatization of the service would allow cost-cutting and a readjustment to suit the modern technological age.
This is a clear example of union interference resulting in a loss for society and the economy. They cannot hope to seek immunity from the current recession; if they continue to throw their weight around, the fall will be all the harder in the long run.