Postal workers have accused the Royal Mail of misleading the public after the company denied claims it is prioritising lucrative parcels over letters.
A senior Royal Mail executive this week rejected suggestions that parcels are being given preference after the Daily Mail published extraordinary claims from posties that households are missing out on important letters in favour of trivial packages.
Hard-working postmen have now hit back at the Royal Mail’s denials – and this newspaper has heard a recording of a depot manager allegedly telling a postie to ‘definitely’ prioritise parcels over letters.
‘It’s just straight-up lies,’ said the south-east postman, who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of losing his job.
‘I’m sick of it. I just want to get these letters out to all of these people that are suffering over Christmas, but we’ve been told not to.’
On Monday Nick Landon, chief commercial officer for Royal Mail, denied that parcels are being given priority, telling the BBC: ‘Absolutely I can say, I sit on the board, we are not prioritising parcels over letters.
‘Clearly in terms of investment, letters are decreasing worldwide every year. Parcels are increasing really rapidly, so a big focus on making sure we can cope with that growth in parcels we have across the network,’ he said.
Mr Landon made the comments while standing in a large Royal Mail hub dedicated to parcels.
One postman pointed out: ‘He wouldn’t go to a mail centre [for an interview] because it would be stuffed to the rafters, it would be messy and dirty.’ Under the Universal Service Obligation, the Royal Mail is legally required to deliver letters to every address in the UK, six days a week, and parcels five days a week.
But postal workers say they have been struggling to fulfil the legal obligation for months as depot managers are more concerned with delivering tracked parcels quickly, meaning letters are sacrificed.
In a statement last night, Royal Mail said: ‘We will always do our utmost to ensure both letters and parcels are delivered on time.
‘We have been clear that at busy times such as Christmas it may be logistically necessary to clear parcels first to avoid network issues.’
A government spokesperson said: ‘We recognise the hardships that postmasters and their families have had to endure and are seeking to right the wrongs of the past.
‘To date over £130 million has been paid in compensation and we are introducing new legislation to ensure all those affected to the IT scandal do not miss out.
‘We want the criminal appeals system to be as efficient and effective as possible which is why we’ve asked the Law Commission to examine whether reforms are needed. We look forward to their findings once the review has concluded.’
Robert Johnson is a UK-based business writer specializing in finance and entrepreneurship. With an eye for market trends and a keen interest in the corporate world, he offers readers valuable insights into business developments.