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An important investing question

No, really:

Will Royal Mail have to get all St Maggie on the union?

To alleviate narrative uncertainty, the answer is yes.

Of course.

17 thoughts on “An important investing question”

  1. I had a summer job delivering milk for the Co-op (over 50 years ago). The whole place was run by, and for, the Union (TWGU).

  2. Depends, of course, on whose interests we’re looking after here. From the shareholders’ point of view of course, get medieval on the CWU. From the consumers’, maybe it’d be better to let the CWU run it into the ground & the CWU with it. Two birds with one stone.

  3. I don’t think that the average punter would notice these days if there were only 3 deliveries a week.

    Which is a shame and the mismanagement of RM over the decades has not helped.

  4. Tim,
    It was BT that sacked 5 levels of management: one of my “running buddies” was in BT’s personnel department and was involved. He subsequently took early retirement because BT’s personnel department no longer needed as many staff.

  5. Tim, your piece mentions the legally binding Agenda for Growth agreement but is a little light on the specifics. It’s difficult to see how the company can crush the union when the union can just take out a court injunction to stop the crushing. Maggie was able to crush the mining union because she had the political and legal capacity. Royal Mail / IDS has no such capacity; indeed the political arrangements of privatisation seem to have deliberately joined the company at the legal hip to the union. The only way out of that seems to be the complete failure of the company. Maybe that was the idea.

  6. @ PJF
    The idea was that both company and union would recognise that neither could survive without the other – John Major didn’t want US-style strike-breakers and thought that Kinnock/post-Kinnock Labour had got rid of “Militant”. Sadly he was wrong aboutthe latter as Mick Lynch is demonstrating.

  7. . . . John Major . . .

    @ john77 – Royal Mail privatisation and the “Agenda for Growth” agreement are 2010s events.

  8. I read the Agenda for Change agreement, and I got as far as:
    “the Royal Mail Group and CWU are committed to working together to develop strategies to grow and sustain the USO (universal six-day-a-week letter delivery service) as a major contributor to the wider UK economy”

    As Tim says, that is the exact part of the economy that is dying off. They’ve got a legally binding agreement to commit resources to pushing water uphill. Madness! I will take no pleasure in seeing a 500-year-old business destroyed, but it will be.

  9. I see your latest PM read PPE at Oxford*. Quelle surprise! What could possibly go wrong?

    *8/11 & still counting.

  10. @ bis
    Boris read “Greats” … but so did SuperMac (arguably our best PM since Gladstone) so the degree course is not a reliable indicator of performance.
    PS What is the youth unemployment rate in Spain these days? Any sign of getting back down to 25%? Have you got any bansy-style graffitis of Sunak with a halo?

  11. When WWI started, the Post Office was delivering mail 4 times a day, with the last delivery as late as 9.30 at night. It wasn’t uncommon to post a letter in the morning and have a reply by the end of the day.

    The pressures of the war meant they had to cut back to 3 deliveries a day.

  12. OT but related, not impressed with Royal Mail’s arbitrary cancellation of stamps at 31st Jan next year. They’re moving to their new barcoded variety exclusively from that date and “older” first and second class stamps (which are still being sold) will no longer be valid. I’ve checked my books of twelve (purchased in the last couple of months) and they don’t come with an expiration date. Apparently, you can send your “old” ones to somewhere in Scotland for exchange, but that baroque process itself tells it’s shitey bollocks on shitey stilts.

  13. Oh well, john77. If the centre-left wing of the Oxford University Party continues to fail there’s always the further left wing of the Oxford University Party to ride to your rescue. Sir Keir Kneeler Starmer & Dianne Several-Bellies Abbott are awaiting your call. The latter’s got her shoes & socks off to practice those very big numbers she’ll need to count when she’s Chancellor.

  14. “What is the youth unemployment rate in Spain these days?”
    Haven’t the slightest idea. Couldn’t give monkey’s. But the poorer they get, the happier I am. Come to think of it, same applies to the Brits as far as I’m concerned. It’s all purchasing power to me.

  15. @Ottokring – “I don’t think that the average punter would notice these days if there were only 3 deliveries a week.”

    Wasn’t there a strike fairly recently. Did anyone notice?

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