I would take issue with what Anna Nicholas had to say about the Trade Dispute in Royal Mail ( her Bulletin article Sat October 31st ) Billy Hayes is the General Secretary of the CWU, he has not refused to negotiate with Royal Mail. Dave Ward, Deputy General Secretary ( Postal ) is the union's leader in the dispute as is Paul Tolhurst for Royal Mail. Paul is the Operations Director in Royal Mail. On Tuesday 20th October, negotiations had continued for some considerable time and it is my understanding that when they concluded on that day, there were a form of words that I understand Dave Ward was prepared to recommend to the Union's Postal Executive on Wednesday morning. However, before this could take place a letter arrived at the CWU office from the Chief Executive Mark Hignet. He would not agree to what had been agreed the night before. Just for the record, Alan Crozier is the Managing Director.

Some readers may remember Alan's name from the football world. The CWU Postal Executive did meet on Wednesday 21st October and it seemed to them that Royal Mail did not want to reach a settlement. The Union was prepared to go to ACAS and have all the issues of Pay, Conditions and Modernisation on the agenda. Royal Mail just wanted to cherry pick what they wanted to discuss, so that failed too. Yes talks have been taking place at the TUC and hopefully commonsense on both sides will work towards resolving this dispute that nobody really wants. The problem standing in the way of reaching an agreement is that Modernisation should read Privatisation.

Successive British Governments since 1984 have tried and failed to sell off Britain´s biggest and it used to be the best Public Asset.Privatisation of Royal Mail is the hidden agenda of Peter Mandelson. Anna states that Royal Mail only charges for size and weight. The size of the item which was brought in during 2008, effectively did away with the two tier Postal System, but even so Royal Mail still delivers to every address in the United Kingdom and their postal rates are second to none thoughout the world. Ultimate modernisation will be privatisation and the company's stripping off Royal mail's assets will not bid to deliver mail in the villages and hamlets. It would be too expensive. They would swoop in for contracts to deliver towns, business's and urban areas. Ironically the villages and hamlets will be Royal Mail's only customers, but they will probably either get a once a week higher tarrif delivery or have to go to a central point to collect their post. Anna also says the Royal Mail wants to try to sort out its disaster of a pension fund. Quite frankly sir, one of the major reasons the pension fund is in the mess it is, because the Post Office took a pension fund holiday for several years and the only people paying into it were the funds members and I just don't know where Anna gets her 10 billion postal worker claimants from.

Yours faithfully
Ray Durkin


I have been looking for flights to UK and was amazed to find that I could fly to Liverpool for 1 centimo of course you have to add on the luggage charge but even so wasn't bad. I was digusted to find that I had to pay 20 Euros for my 2 month old to sit on my lap! Each way! No luggage! My flight return would have cost me with luggage about 50 euros! I rang them up and asked why I couldn't book a normal seat for my baby and then still have him on lap and they replied it wasn't possible! Since when do you pay for a baby to sit on your knee! Personally think it is digusting and I did not book the flight. Knowing full well that parents are not going to leave the baby behind these companies take advantage. In the end a low cost flight ends up being a high cost flight. Someone should put a stop to it!

Alexandra Bird


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