Royal Mail ‘failing to ship’ letters on Saturdays, admits boss Simon Thompson as he faces fierce backlash from MPs

The boss of Royal Mail confronted a fierce backlash from MPs final night time after he admitted the agency was failing its authorized obligation to ship letters on Saturdays.

In a bruising encounter with the Commons enterprise committee, chief govt Simon Thompson yesterday mentioned the agency had fallen in need of its common service obligation (USO).

This legally requires Royal Mail to ship letters to UK households six days per week and parcels 5 days per week.

In a bruising encounter with the Commons business committee, Royal Mail chief exec Simon Thompson (pictured) said the firm had fallen short of its universal service obligation

In a bruising encounter with the Commons enterprise committee, Royal Mail chief exec Simon Thompson (pictured) mentioned the agency had fallen in need of its common service obligation

‘You’ve not been delivering in your USO of delivering letters six days per week for a while. That’s proper isn’t it?’ mentioned committee chair Darren Jones.

Thompson replied: ‘Yes I feel that’s proper.’ He added that the corporate was ‘positively not reaching USO’ however didn’t state whether or not he believed there had been a systemic failure at Royal Mail.

He additionally denied that it’s firm coverage to prioritise parcels over letters.

When requested final month by MPs if postal employees had been instructed to prioritise parcels over letters, Thompson had mentioned: ‘No, that’s completely not true.’

But yesterday, in response to proof from posties throughout the nation, he mentioned parcels are prioritised over letters throughout industrial motion.

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‘It’s not our coverage however in [the] realities of business motion we have now to apply a distinct coverage,’ he mentioned.

The committee additionally questioned Keith Williams, the chair of Royal Mail’s mother or father firm International Distributions Services (IDS), about why fulfilling the USO was not a part of the group’s long-term incentive plan, the circumstances for which executives obtain bonuses and share awards.

Williams mentioned the USO was not included because the incentives have been tied to ‘the transformation of the enterprise’ however harassed letters have been nonetheless ‘crucial’ to Royal Mail.

But Jones accused him of selecting to ‘write-off and exclude’ letter deliveries and the USO from the long-term efficiency plan for the agency.

Royal Mail has beforehand pushed for Saturday letter deliveries to be scrapped because the variety of posted letters has declined sharply through the years.

It is estimated that the group may save as a lot as £250million per yr if the change was made.

The tense committee listening to got here as Royal Mail continues to be locked in a bitter dispute with employees over pay and plans to modernise the enterprise to make it extra aggressive with rivals.

And the row confirmed no indicators of ending following a vote by the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – which represents round 115,000 Royal Mail employees – to go on strike once more.

It follows 18 days of walkouts final yr, which the corporate mentioned had price it £200million.

The firm has warned that whether it is unable to rework the enterprise, it may break up IDS in two.

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This would separate Royal Mail from its extra profitable worldwide arm GLS.

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