Royal Mail's Business, Industrial and Political Environments
The Conservatives sought to support management by reducing the political costs of facing down resistance that is service disruption resulting from industrial action against new policies. This chapter outlines this new direction and its impact vis-a-vis the economic, industrial and political forces operating on Royal Mail (RM) until the mid-1990s to provide an account of the salient environment for studying the postal workers. It provides a basis on which to examine RM postal workers by identifying those forces, and their dynamics, which influence and determine RM's behaviour and how these condition, shape and influence postal workers' actions and responses. The chapter examines the combined and interwoven economic, industrial and political history of the PO's letters division until the late 1980s. It analyses RM's business, organisational and industrial relations history of the late 1980s to mid-1990s, with the focus on the many changes implemented such as programmes of commercialisation, the reasons for their introduction and their impacts.