Dumped letters question the quality of London’s postal service

16 July 2014

The London Assembly today passed a motion [1] urging the Mayor to review end-to-end postal services and unfair employment terms for workers at postal services, such as TNT Post UK.

The Assembly also called on the Mayor to lobby the government to bring the postal service back into public ownership.

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion, said:

“Delivery companies such as TNT whom repeatedly provide poor service and cherry-pick the most lucrative areas to deliver post, undermine the quality of universal postal services in the capital and raises questions of the standard of a privatised postal delivery service. The increasing number of poor postal service cases, rising costs of delivery and unfair competition in the market has emphasised the need for government to bring the national postal service back into public ownership.”

Jenny Jones AM who proposed a successful amendment to the motion, said:

“The botched privatisation of Royal Mail has opened the door to poor services from rivals, which could threaten a universal service. But I don’t want us to be in the business of regulating the market to protect a private monopoly. The only way to guarantee Londoners will be able to continue sending and receiving letters throughout the country at a single price is to bring the Royal Mail back into public ownership.”

The full text of the motion agreed at today’s meeting reads as follows:

“This Assembly notes with concern the expansion of the end-to-end postal services by TNT Post UK across London has on Royal Mail’s ability to sustain the universal service obligation. Companies such as TNT are able to cherry-pick the most lucrative areas to deliver post. Furthermore, TNT offers only insecure terms and conditions for staff, employing workers on zero-hours contracts at minimum wage and supporting the growth of a low-pay insecure job market. This Assembly therefore calls on the Mayor of London to:

  • Determine what changes are needed to protect and ensure the future of the Universal Postal Service
  • Make representations to TNT Post UK about becoming a living wage employer and offering staff secure, permanent contracts.
  • Lobby the government to bring the postal service back into public ownership.”


Notes to editors

  1. The motion was agreed by 12 for and 5 against at a meeting of the full Assembly today. Watch the webcast.
  2. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

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