Very insightful what you say.
1. The 2003 strike helped spark the initial move towards the competition, and with a regulator who's sole purpose is to give a certain amount of the market to the competition it happened.
2. RM do not want strikes either as customers have a record of trusting the current senior mgmt and RM with it's high level of quality at the moment. I mena Postwatch literally don't have a leg to stand on and moan about peripheral things at the moment.
3. However, Leighton tested the Union's resolve in 2003 and (depending on your view) saw the CWU cave in and put SDD in anyway.
CWU and where they are going. As I said before the heads of the union and the senior negotiators at RM have each other's personal mobile numbers, talk like long lost friends, and rumour has it even go for beers. Its more like a scene from Shakespeare than anything else. I suppose the threat of compulsory redundancy always hangs overhead, yet this has never happened. I think the Heads of the Union know that further cuts will come and its about negotiating reasonable packages for voluntary redundancy, in return the CWU heads promise not to spark off strikes etc... Obviously this is not how they wish to be seen by their members as they would get crucified.
Another problem is probably the reduction in new membership as foreign workers come in who are not used to unions and don't trust the established Union setup. I can't prove this and it's only a feeling. You lot are porbably better placed, but in my own experience during strikes it was mainly younger non-stereotypical anglo-saxons who broke the picketline to work.
I'm not sure if I have actually really answered your question or skirted round the edges.
1. If I was a senior Blue I would be fairly militant and then get my redundancy cheque when the machinery starts enterin gthe building. Don't be surprised if you union reps get their redundancy cheques before others, especially the militant ones. Let's just say I saw this happen first hand!
2. If I was a bit younger I am not so sure what I would do.
3. If I was new, I'd run a mile probably
Remember that mechanisation has been going on since the Agricultural Revolution and has always displaced jobs, and there has been different levels of resistance depending on union strength, it generally only slows down the inevitable rather than halting it. RM would be made not to try and remove as much manual-handling as possible. If TNT, UK Mail and DHL are using state-of-the-art machinery it means they can under-cut RM quite easily and they have big purses behind them. They also do not have the pension legacies and other historical costs to cover, apart from maybe within their own domestic markets.
UK Mail will get bought out within 18 months and that leaves 2 main players against RM, unless someone else comes in like UPS. All three have deep pockets and if they want to attack the UK market like TNT are doing at the moment then they can. These companies are not Johnny-Come-Latelies like we had in the BT privatisation scenario. TNT and DHL/Deutschepost have the technology and expertise from abroad. What they do not have is detailed market information like RM has, and they do not have the local street knowledge, but they do have access to newer and more intelligent local route mapping services. This is obviously not as good as you, but is closer than previous attempts, and both TNT and DHL have been testing them in recent months.
At the moment no-one has ground RM into the ground. Some suggest it could become the new Railtrack/Network Rail, which I personally would be surprised by. I personally think RM senior mgmt want a two-tier model like British Gas and BT which is to sell bulk-mail services (wholesale) and retail-mail services (Retail). They have already setup a department called Wholesale which manages the current access agreements and recent news stories talks a bout retail zonal pricing as a way of protecting the USO. I personally agree with this approach, as I think it will open the door for more innovative products to reach the market place, which hasn't happened yet, and is more likely to keep RM in tact in the medium to long run.
However, if the DTI decide to sell off RM then who knows, as signs are that the postal market is in long term decline as a form of communication!
F0zzie says fingers are hurting and time to do something that justifies his salary $$$$$$$$$$$$.$$