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TNT snatches up Pi ko cheque

8th September 1988
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Page 4, 8th September 1988 — TNT snatches up Pi ko cheque
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

• The first sign that the Go eminent is prepared to allow private parcels carriers to break the Post Office's letter monopoly came this week when TNT was called in to deliver Giro cheques held up the postal dispute.

The parcels giant has begu taking 1,000 payment envelopes a night from the Departrnent of Employment cen tral offices in Stirling and Rea ing to local DoE offices. It is major breakthrough for TNT, which has campaigned for years to be allowed to compe with the Post Office.

As we went to press on Tuesday afternoon, TNT mar ng director Alan Jones was iing with the Department of lde and Industry in a bid to Tend the Post Office ■ nopoly.

FNT's general manager exns parcels Chris Atkinson

Ts the company wants a five

ir guarantee from .t DTI on a competitive Iiace for it and other parcel ns. "At the moment we are an unfair trading position," says. "The minimum we can irge is £1 a letter."

The DTI denies that the deion to call in TNT to deliver ros was a prelude to

Lashing the Post Office mopoly. "What they are ing is bulk deliveries. It has ppened before and does not ringe the monopoly. It is a mpletely separate thing," ys the department, which -esses that the talks between T and top DTI officials !re at the request of the reels company: "A number of {Tie have put their points to ," it says. "We are making rtain we are aware of their

ing before we relax a monopoly like this, but obviously the situation is deterioratingn, and suspension of the monopoly cannot be ruled out."

The Department of Employment does not have any contingency plans to get cheques to local employment office. It says that depending on the local situation they would then be posted or collected by claimants: We have a very important responsibility to see that unemployment benefit cheques are got to claimants as effect ively as possible," it stresses.

As the postal strike began to bite this week other private delivery companies were also looking to cash in. Amtrak's managing director Roger Baines also wants to compete with the Post Office. Amtrak is setting up an operation centre in Birmingham and says its business is growing by 20% a month.

London's postal service ground to a halt early this week when 1,000 van drivers refused to cross picket lines outside London's giant Mount Pleasant sorting office. Only about 30% of mail was being delivered.

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