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Postal strike will hit small firms hard

Date 28 Jun 2007
Author The Editor

Small businesses will face severe post delays today when Royal Mail workers stage the first national mail strike in over a decade. Last week the Commercial Workers’ Union (CWU) announced the strike after disputes over pay were unable to be reconciled. Further industrial action within two weeks is also on the cards if an agreement still cannot be reached, the CWU said. Business leaders in the region are warning that the strike will hamper the operations of small firms.

Colin Stratton, North East Regional Chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “A lengthy postal strike could be devastating for small businesses. Our survey on the postal service showed that eighty eight per cent of small firms send mail every day and ninety four per cent of small businesses use Royal Mail exclusively.

“Small businesses would be hardest hit by this dispute. They employ over half of the private sector workforce in the UK and are totally reliant on the Royal Mail. Other mail providers do not offer an alternative to small firms because of their size. A cheque delayed in the post can mean the difference between life and death for a small business. We call on both sides to reach an agreement as soon as possible. If they cannot agree then the newly titled Department of Business and Enterprise headed by Minister John Hutton must step in. The strike and any further strikes will have a huge negative impact on the UK economy and the Government should not sit back and allow that to happen.”

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