Royal Mail has scrapped Saturday letter deliveries until further notice due to coronavirus and from this weekend onwards, the group will provisionally no longer deliver letters on a Saturday.
Deliveries already don’t happen on a Sunday, so more people will face waiting into the following week for their letters to arrive. Nevertheless, Royal Mail maintained that most packages, as well as Special Delivery, Tracked and all non-account services, will continue being delivered six days a week.
Saturday collections from businesses, post office branches and post boxes also remain as normal and it’s understood the firm decided to reduce the strain on its workers.
The nature of some posties work has had to shift due to social distancing practices and some are also off sick or self-isolating due to the virus, which means there is less staff to deal with incoming mail.
However, the move was blasted by the Communication Workers Union which stewards posties and warned it could even lead to a walkout, and a CWU spokesperson said: “We will be seeking urgent discussions with the government on this issue. The reduction of the Universal Service Obligation was a key factor in our live national strike ballot.
“The last thing we want to do is call strike action at this point but we will not sit back and see our members’ jobs put at threat and the service to the public worsened.”
The CWU announced in March that household deliveries would be lowered to a three day week because of the COVID 19.
A union spokesperson maintained the service would have still run six days a week under that plan, but that deliveries would have happened on alternate days, rather than being dropped on Saturday.
The CWU stated it has since dropped that request after further adjustments were put in place and it’s believed managers were told the move had been settled on Tuesday afternoon.
In a video for staff, Nick Landon, Royal Mail’s chief customer officer, said posties have been under “incredible pressure” for a month and “need some relief”.
And now it appears they want to reduce the load for deliveries across that weekend making them focus on the packages to clear all of that traffic.
The video said there will be some “temporary changes” to delivery duties from May 11 and that staff would be given more information soon.
Postmen and postwomen are working extremely hard across the United Kingdom particularly in these challenging conditions and of course, there’s bound to be disruption to services because of the coronavirus.
Customers should, of course, continue to post both letters and packages as normal on Saturday because the post office will still be continuing their Saturday collections from businesses, post offices and post boxes as normal.
And we should be giving a thought to our lads and lasses at the Royal Mail because they always do a splendid job all year round and it’s heavy work on the arms, legs and back, trudging up and down garden paths, rapping on people’s doors because their doorbells don’t work.
So, give a big shout for Postman Pat, and I think it’s prudent to restrict our postie’s movements as they’re possibly delivering COVID 19 contaminated packages and letters to our door, going into flats, houses and residential areas emitting spritzes of the virus amongst the general population.
We may even see Sunday Trading laws abolished just to kickstart our economy once this virus has been destroyed.
But Postman Pat won’t be getting rest, they’ll still be delivering packages, special deliveries and so forth, plus Saturday’s letters will be delivered along with Monday’s mail, so two days delivery in one.