Stone: Royal Mail reform is vital for customers

October 10, 2009 1:48 PM

Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Newcastle East Greg Stone has expressed disappointment at the forthcoming industrial action by postal workers and called on both sides in the Royal Mail dispute to put customers first. Newcastle East's Labour MP has been an opponent of reform of the Royal Mail and has been critical of the position of the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.

Greg Stone said "It is clear that the relationship between management and staff is at breaking point, but industrial action will only serve to exacerbate the problems Royal Mail is facing as more and more major customers such as online retailers transfer their business elsewhere"

"It is increasingly evident that the Royal Mail needs major reform if it is to survive into the future. It has been making huge losses for years, new business strategies have had little impact, and it has been slow to adapt to increased competition from other deliverers and from technological change. Customer service can often be patchy and there are significant doubts over the organisation's fitness for purpose.

"Along with the Post Office network, the Royal Mail has a key role to play in the national communications infrastructure, but it is increasingly obvious that if the organisation cannot continue as it is doing at present. If industrial action continues, more business will be lost and more jobs will be lost."

"I urge the Government to stop dithering on this issue and press on with reforming the Royal Mail to make it fit for purpose for customers in the 21st century. It is ultimately in the interests of all that the management and the unions get behind this process".