Industry association urges members’ action on threat to cut Saturday letter deliveries
The GCA has issued a call to action for everyone in the greeting card industry over Royal Mail’s bid to cut its Universal Service obligations for Saturday letter deliveries.
Having written to Kevin Hollinrake MP, the government minister responsible for the postal service, plus opposition MPs and other government contacts, the industry association urges those in the card community to follow suit.
The GCA wants a deluge of letters to people’s own MPs highlighting the concern that a reliable postal service, where people can post a card knowing it will arrive for an occasion or as a tangible way of showing someone you care, as being key to the reason card-sending in the UK has never waned and Brits continue to send more cards per capita than any other nation.
There’s a downloadable draft letter at the bottom of the page on the GCA website for people to use to ask for assurances relating to the postal service stating: “Royal Mail’s request to government to move to a five-day week delivery service, reducing their obligations under the existing Universal Service Obligation (USO), would have a huge impact on our business and consumers and the greeting card industry across the country. In addition, the impact of the ongoing industrial action is affecting so many, and now threatens to impact Christmas.”
The GCA is also speaking to other organisations which rely on the postal service, with the National Federation Of SubPostmasters already issuing a statement saying: “The NFSP always put the interest of its members first. Royal Mail’s proposed reduction to a five-day delivery week for letters and cards would adversely affect remuneration at the worst possible moment.
“With rising energy costs, Royal Mail postal worker strikes and reduced banking deposit limits already imperilling the post office network, a reduction in delivery days would be, for many of our members, the final straw. We are also mindful of the affect this proposed reduction would have on many of our customers who still send and receive letters and cards plus the effect on our friends in the greetings cards industry.
“Many postmasters sell greeting card and stationery as part of their retail offering, and the NFSP would oppose any decision that would discourage the sending or receiving of cards by post.”
In the GCA letter to the minister, ceo Amanda Fergusson explained they had understood from previous conversations with Royal Mail that there was “a shared understanding that the British public value their cards arriving at the weekend” and with the business moving to a seven-day parcel delivery “there are clear commercial and environmental synergies from concurrent delivery”.
She added: “We believe both the Royal Mail’s request to reduce the number of days they deliver letters and the ongoing postal strikes will not only harm our own industry but, more importantly, greatly affect the British public even more. We therefore urge you to continue to resist Royal Mail’s requests and safeguard the USO, and also encourage Royal Mail and the CWU to resolve the current industrial dispute.”
Amanda told PG Buzz that the GCA has also spoken to the US GCA, because the United States Postal Service was looking at a similar move in 2020 to cut costs but, she said: “Research undertaken on behalf of the US GCA found that different levels of delivery for different types of items – packages vs letter mail – did not add efficiency. In addition, it found that USPS had overestimated the savings that would be realised by eliminating Saturday mail delivery.”
She added that they want all GCA members to write to their own MPs highlighting these concerns – if your business and home addresses are in different constituencies then write to both, one as a constituent and one as a business owner/leader.
Top: The GCA wants members to write to their MPs