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Junk mail industry grinds to a halt as Royal Mail strike

In Business, News on October 22, 2009 at 14:33
Junk mail: the lifeblood of British society

Junk mail: the lifeblood of British society

The first postal strike in two years has threatened to deal a crippling blow to distributors of flyers, leaflets, fast-food menus and other junk mail you would normally expect to find clogging up your mail box, according to industry experts.  The strike began last night at 4am, and is expected to hit the junk mail industry with such ferocity that nearly 1,000 junk mailers will be forced out of work by the month’s end, with the prospect of further strike action to come next week.

The stike action, undertaken by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in reaction to the lack of implementation of the final phase of the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement, and sees two 24-hour strikes as the first act of defiance on the part of workers who feel that they have been harshly treated.

Some, however, have argued that the consequences of the strike are much more far-reaching.  Luigi Amore, owner and proprietor of ‘Luigi’s Pizza Emporium,’ East Chiswick, explains: “Last week I printed out a load of direct mail leaflets to advertise our special two-for-one offer this Thursday and Friday, ending today.  This is bloody typical – it’s just a waste of money.  Nobody ever thinks of the little guy, trying to spam disinterested customers with low-value, high-carb, plastic-tasting fast food alternatives.”

“This is the second strike in two years,” sad shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke.  “It’s driving all the business away against a background where they were losing business already.  Plus, I’ve got literally no idea how much it would cost me to upgrade to Virgin Media, where I can get a kebab tonight, or for that matter, how much money I owe to British Gas.  I miss the post SO much.”

Not everyone, it appears, shares Mr. Clarke’s enthusiasm for Royal Mail, however.  Having asked a random sample of businesses if they felt the Royal Mail strike was harmful for their business, responses included: “There’s been a mail strike?”, “What’s a letter?” and “I don’t even know what Royal Mail is.  Is it a bit like Google Wave?”

Colin Henderson, Managing Director of a big, important company in the City, said: “To be honest, most people here just use e-mail.  E-mail or carrier pigeons.  Either that, or they rub their temples really hard and try to use telepathy.  Anything, in fact to try and avoid using Royal Mail which is, let’s face it, pretty dire.”

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