If you sell to Belgium, you need to know that postal workers are going on strike from Friday and that those in the Ghent area have already been on strike for twelve days. The protest is against new software designed to organise postal routes: posties feel they are being treated like robots and that the software is far removed from the reality of their jobs. Their union, the CCOD, say that the problems are so severe, they do not envisage a quick end to the dispute.
Meanwhile in the UK, the CWU are offically balloting their members on strike action. Hellmail’s considered piece is well worth a read. For what it’s worth, I think that most of Royal Mail’s current problems stem from the part-privatisation of their industry, which has left private companies free to cherry-pick the most lucrative parts of their business while still shackling RM with old-style micro-regulation. The fight between RM’s management and their workers is a distraction, and shouldn’t be happening since it will damage both parties *and* their consumers. What is needed is government action to free RM to compete properly in the market place.