When workers arrive at Royal Mail’s 1,300 delivery offices, they step back in time — they still sign in on paper.
Bosses have been trying to introduce electronic swipe cards since 2005, but have so far failed to win over the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Similar idiosyncrasies exist across the 504-year-old business. When a depot wants a faster electronic sorting machine, it must seek approval from union bosses. Decisions about who gets the shorter, less hilly routes, and the use of hand-held tracking devices, also lie in the hands of the CWU, which speaks for about two-thirds of Royal Mail’s 140,000 UK workforce.
However, the strength of that hold, and the resolve of CWU general secretary Dave Ward, are about to be tested. The pandemic