UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: December 20, 300 AP.

Utani B'yan Postal workers threaten strike over postcode system

Two hundred thousand workers in the enormous Utani Anjul Nij postal organisation have threatened to strike four days before Cruismas, their busiest time of year over the proposed introduction of a new, national post code system being developed by the country's three not-yet-merged postal companies.

The possible action was announced at a stop-work meeting of seventeen thousand workers in Utan Krysaror, the state and national capital. The workers union declared the postal code, and its associated coordinated addressing system, would cost thousands of jobs and allow external contractors to take over mail delivery.

Conservative MPs, and management from the Luka-based postal company, were derisive toward the stop-work meeting and the company they work for. "Why should it take two hundred thousand postal workers to deliver mail for 18 million people?" asked one federal, conservative MP.

Others simply accept the conditions as a consequence of the traditional Utani values, and support the postal workers. "Mail takes ten days to deliver from one village to another, and the postal workers who know their area know all the people in those areas. It may be slow, but it is a very efficient system", said one observer. "But, to get post from one village to another in the same region takes only a day - and that is the value of the postal workers who know the people in their area." Another observer said that it is well-known that Cruismass cards should be sent "at least" six weeks beforehand due to the overload on the postal workers.

President Okarvits, for his part, has ordered a review of the new code and addressing standards, deflecting the need for the strike. Postal workers appear happy for now, but warn that they will not hesitate to strike if the reforms are implemented. Others have criticised President Okarvits for "caving in too easily to manipulative unions". They quote the President's previous commitment to "providing a solid foundation for future business to build upon, such as post, telecommunications and transport", and query whether he has abandoned this. The President merely replied, in Utani, that it takes wise leaders many tries to convince everyone to go with them to a new village-site, quoting a well-known Utani proverb.

Utani Anjul Nij (lit. "Utani alphabet sent far"), the postal service for Utani B'yan and Savana states, employs almost one quarter million people to provide mail services to 18 million people. A national standard for postcodes and addressing has been developed over the past six months, and President Okarvits has engaged a study into the merging of the country's three postal services.

©UPA, 300 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2000. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)