Dear Adam, Are you lost in the post?
Dear Adam Crozier
I see that I’m not alone in wondering why you’ve been so reluctant to step into the limelight for your 15 minutes of fame. If you don’t do so soon, many others will start to wonder what you actually do for your very substantial reward.
When you’re chief executive of a business as high profile as Britain’s Royal Mail, you must lead from the front when it comes to a strike. The man who brought you in, Allan Leighton, would never have let things slide so far. Mind you, he’d have also discouraged Peter Mandelson from taking a line sufficiently belligerent to make union leader Billy Hayes look cuddly and reasonable.
This strike is supposedly about industrial logic. The postal service cannot go on as if the internet, emails, and private delivery services do not exist. But the posties’ action looks like a cry of pain at the failure of management to cope with the changes everyone knows must come.
You may have been working on this 24/7, but I sense a great divide between the workers who are being forced to do more, and the bureaucracy which appears to have time for role-playing games in working hours.
Reports like these, even if anecdotal and out of date, are symptoms of a business in distress, and while you have more than your share of troublemakers in your ranks, distress is ultimately the fault of the management. Describing the strike as “appalling and unjustified” as you did last week will not help you win the battle for public opinion.
When all three political parties agree with you, as they appear to on this issue, then we should watch out. The Royal Mail touches everyone’s lives. We grumble about it all the time, but the alternatives seem worse. Its finances look grim, but that’s because the business has been forced to recognise the cost of public sector pensions on its balance sheet. You might care to make this point if you can face an interview with Jeremy Paxman or John Humphries. If you can’t, then it really is time for another career – your fourth, by my reckoning, and you’re only 45.
Finally, I hate to lower the tone, but you really are rewarded beyond your pay grade; 995,000 pounds last year may look like slim pickings against the 3,044,000 pounds of 2007/08, but as Billy Hayes might say, it would buy a lot more of the footsoldiers you are attacking.
I’d send you this, but you know how it is with the post these days.