Sunday, July 15, 2007

Mail Strikes

The second postal strike was once again solid in the Edinburgh area . Police were called out to the Mail-Centre when an agency driver for TNT endeavoured to cross the picket lines ( the regular TNT driver doesn't break the strike) .
Management were more active , with many drafted in to do postal workers duties , and one particular boss , almost running down a picket . A large number of Summer casuals have been employed and being used in a satellite building away from normal staff to sort mail and reduce the necessity for management to offer overtime , and in effect pay for the lost wages of the strikers .

As an aside i read in the Sunday Herald the return of the siesta - or as it is newly ascribed -"Iberian yoga" . Businesses in Spain have come to recognise that workers benefit from a mid-afternoon break and some have even installed soothing siesta zones with reclining chairs for their employees to snatch 40 winks after lunch, with a 15-minute massage thrown in. Studies confirm that between 2pm and 4pm you feel a little sluggish. Research worldwide shows that productivity improves among those who nap after lunch .

Spain's politicians have tried without success to modify habits that include lunching at teatime and playing football at bedtime. The first attempt to shorten the day by squeezing the lunch break was in the 1980s, in preparation for joining the European Union. The government tried again in 2005, to cope with a globalised economy. But Spaniards reject an early hurried lunch as ludicrous.
At present, Europeans lunch while Spaniards stroll to their morning coffee. Europe returns to work at 2pm, while Spain prepares for a two-hour meal. At 5pm, when most Europeans think of knocking off, Spain works another three hours. By the time Spaniards dine, Europeans are mostly asleep. Pan-European business has to be conducted between staggered international mealtimes. Without a break, Spain's working day is exhaustingly long. But with the shorter day unenforceable, Spanish business is rehabilitating the siesta, which is now set to join the office gym, crèche and language classes as perks offered by forward-looking employers to ensure a happy and productive workforce.

Now , thats the type of modernisation that Royal Mail should be exploring - structuring the industry around life-style .

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