31/10/2003

Small firms suffer as postal strikes continue

The Federation of Small Businesses has expressed concern at the news that wildcat strikes by postal workers are continuing to spread across the UK.

FSB UK Policy Chairman, John Walker said: “Small firms still rely on the post for vital documents such as invoices, contracts, legal forms and most importantly cheques. Royal Mail processes a million cheques each day, many of which are now caught up in the backlog. A delay of a couple of days in banking a cheque from a major customer may mean that a small business is unable to settle its own bills or pay wages to staff.”

“The wildcat nature of these strikes has made them particularly damaging as it has prevented businesses from planning ahead or seeking alternatives. Despite email, the business community is still paper driven, and most of that paper arrives in the post.”

“Most small business owners speak to their postal workers every couple of days and generally have a good relationship with them. But these strikes are having a devastating effect on small firms.”

Talks in London were continuing on Friday as a solution was sought to the strike, which is thought to involve over 20,000 postal workers.

(SP)

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