Fighting fund: Complain about it

Robbie Rix on problems with Royal Mail, undelivered papers and the support we need from you

Many of our readers have experienced delivery problems. As I noted last week, Royal Mail has been affected by unofficial action by Communication Workers Union members in some areas, but comrades have reported that elsewhere they have been asked to pay a surcharge.

It is claimed that the envelope containing the Weekly Worker is “too thick” to qualify as a ‘small letter’ and so the rate for a ‘large letter’ applies. We have previously pointed out to Royal Mail that sometimes the air inside the envelope expands, but gently pressing down on the envelope results in that air being expelled, thus reducing the thickness below the 5mm official maximum. In fact we received an apology on that occasion, but this does not seem to have stopped what appears to be ridiculously officious behaviour. So the best thing to do is to complain to Royal Mail. If the paper is okay every week in the year except one, it is self-evident that Royal Mail is at fault, not the Weekly Worker. We consistently use the same paper, the same envelopes and the same folding techniques.

If the problem keeps recurring, one solution would be to pay the higher ‘large letter’ rate, but that would increase our postage costs by well over £1,000 a year. So there is every reason for readers to phone up and explain the situation to Royal Mail.

The worse thing for us to do would be to increase our subscription rates because of this silly one-off. The fact of the matter is that we would dearly love to make the cost much cheaper. But we have printers’ bills, stamps to buy, lawyers fees to pay, etc. The fact that we charge as little as £60 a year is because of the subsidy provided in no small measure by those who contribute to our fighting fund. Speaking of which, apart from the £135 in standing orders received this week (thanks to DV, RK, SM, GD, FK, CG and JA), there was a nice £50 PayPal donation from comrade EJ (he was one of 10,240 online readers) and two £10 cheques from comrades GT and BL. And I must mention the £20 note handed personally to our editor by comrade TB, who is visiting from South Africa.

The £225 received this week takes our total for October to £421. But we need £1,500 every month (that is without having to pay extra in postage, of course), so we are slightly behind the asking rate. Can you help?