London Mayor Boris Johnson is the latest to face calls to investigate the impact of TNT Post UK’s competition on Royal Mail’s Universal Service, after a motion passed by the London Assembly.
The move is part of an ongoing campaign by Royal Mail to force Ofcom to launch an investigation; last month it recruited former Government advisor and Ofcom chief Richard Hooper to throw his weight behind the initiative.
Proposed by Labour Party Assembly Member Murad Queshi, the motion flagged up concerns already raised by Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union.
It claimed TNT Post’s strategy was to “cherry-pick” the most profitable areas in which to deliver post, which it suggested would damage Royal Mail’s ability to provide the universal postal service.
The motion, as with Royal Mail and the CWU’s lobbying, also claimed TNT Post has been providing “insecure” terms and conditions for its staff, including use of controversial zero-hours contracts at minimum wage.
Qureshi 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 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.”
The measure demanded that the London Mayor carry out a review to determine what changes are needed to protect the future of the universal postal service, and push TNT Post UK to become a “living wage” employer offering staff more secure, permanent contracts.
CWU general secretary Billy Hayes said: “TNT plans to cover 42.3% of the total UK addresses but in just 8.5% of the UK. TNT is already operating in many parts of London as well as other cities around the UK. It’s having a significant impact on the amount of mail passing through Royal Mail delivery offices. It’s unfair competition and Ofcom needs to act now.”
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