Boycott Threatens Royal Mail
Royal Mail profits surge while union threatens to boycott private mail. Ahead of the government’s planned sell-off of Royal Mail, the U.K. postal service reported that its pre-tax profits in the year to the end of March increased to £324 million (US$499 million) from £201 million (US$310 million) a year earlier. The company boosted sales by more than £500 million (US$770 million), with a surge in parcels from online commerce as well as a 30-percent price increase for first class stamps.
However, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents postal workers in the United Kingdom, opposes the plan, claiming that it will lead to a “worse deal for customers, staff and thousands of small businesses.” The union launched a consultative ballot in May on the privatization of Royal Mail that could mandate a boycott of competitors’ and private mail leaving 26 million letters undelivered each day. In late June, CWU announced that 92 percent of voters supported the boycott. Approximately a quarter of the union did not cast a ballot.
Brazil’s Correios Seeks To Expand
As postal operators worldwide struggle to cope with diminishing volume and revenues, Brazilian postal service provider Correios plans to open more post office branches amid climbing annual profits. Correios announced 2012 annual operating profits of 1.044 billion reais (US$520 million), or 18 percent above 2011. Correios’ Postal Bank, operated in partnership with Banco do Brasil, brought in 225 million reais (US$112 million).
The state-owned postal operator now seeks to add 1,100 franchise postal outlets across Brazil, which would double the number of franchised branches in the country. Franchise outlets currently represent 14 percent of Correios’s post office network.
China Post’s Low Rates Threaten Competition
Xu Yong, chief consultant at China Express and Logistics Consulting, argued that China Post was violating Chinese law and market fairness by providing express services in competition with private delivery firms even as it receives government subsidies. China Post’s Shanghai branch has already introduced a “7+2” postage rate — 7 yuan (US$1.14) for the first kilogram of a package and 2 yuan (US$0.33) for each additional kilogram – which it described as only slightly lower than private companies’ rates.
Russian Post Faces Backlash For Mail Delays
Russian postal consumers express dismay over delays. Over 90 percent of the 30,500 complaints about Russian communication operators sent to Russia’s consumer rights regulator Rospotrebnadzor concern Russian Post. The Russian Prosecutor’s Office opened 13 cases against Russian Post at the end of May for exceeding mail delivery time limits. Russian Post blamed its recent mail delays on Russia’s transportation and customs services, which retorted with accusations of their own.
Deutsche Post Finds De-Mail Law Discriminatory
Deutsche Post files a complaint with the EU Commission against German “De-Mail” Law.
A spokesman from Deutsche Post Group argued that a German bill that would require government agencies and public services to use the encrypted email system “De-Mail” offered by Deutsche Telekom and United Internet would violate EU laws and discriminate against other e-mail system products. The law passed in early June.
Deutsche Post invested 500 million euros (US$655 million) in its own encrypted email system “E-Postbrief” and expected roughly 100 million euros (US$131 million) in revenue from the product this year.
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