Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 18 February, 2004

Written Answers. - Postal Services.

  244. Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the position of postal deliveries and collection in Drogheda and the surrounding areas; the steps he is taking to ensure that An Post lives up to its commitments to negotiate meaningfully on the collection and delivery element of the transformation through partnership, TTP, agreement which was agreed between the management and union in 2000; the reason the public is being led to believe, through media advertisements, that the postmen in Drogheda area are taking industrial action when they are working to their schedule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5279/04]

  Mr. D. Ahern: The issue [722] raised by the Deputy regarding postal deliveries in Drogheda is an operational matter for the board and management of An Post and one in which I have no statutory function. The ongoing industrial action is fundamentally a matter for the board and management of An Post and the unions involved.

However, I understand that the current industrial action in Drogheda is unofficial and I would urge all concerned to operate agreed industrial relations mechanisms to facilitate a return to normal working arrangements and to restore the levels of service, which An Post customers are entitled to expect.

The shareholder, company and employees negotiated a transformation through partnership agreement in 2000 which aimed to prepare An Post for the challenges arising from the liberalisation of the postal market and electronic substitution products such as e-mail.

Since the negotiation of the agreement in 2000, the financial situation in An Post has deteriorated significantly, and it is now even more critical for all stakeholders in An Post to implement the necessary strategies to return the company to profitability and copperfasten its long-term future in the postal market.