It is good to see that the CWU have settled their dispute with the Royal Mail. The deal has yet to be fully ratified by the union executive, but hopefully the enormous damage done to the Royal Mail during the dispute can now be put right.
There is no doubt that Royal Mail workers had some legitimate concerns, but by the same token, the way these strikes had been organised, enormous possibly irreparable damage has been done to the reputation of the Royal Mail which will only play in to the hands of their competitors, which will inevitably lead to more Royal mail workers losing their jobs in the long term.
Listening to the Radio yesterday there were enormous amounts of business people who had discovered other ways of getting post out, more use of technology, electronic payments, alternative postal providers, which were all cheaper than the Royal Mail, and many of these former Royal Mail customers who had stayed with the Royal Mail through loyalty, will never come back.
But it was not just the business world that was ramping up the pressure. It was the general public themselves. I heard to on radio phone ins about people who were waiting cheques, people who were in financial difficulties, people whose tickets had not arrived, people who were waiting for passports, in fact any number of things which we rely on for our normal daily lives were being held up, and the general public were starting to turn against the strikers.
So the Union made the correct choice in settling, whilst they still could and whilst they could save face. The Royal Mail has not yet been destroyed, but had this dispute gone on much longer the Royal Mail and the British Public could have been paying the price for some years to come.