Royal Mail 24hr strike 19th December 2008

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Royal Mail workers in Coventry, Crewe, Liverpool, Stockport, Bolton and Oxford are expected to strike for 24 hours on 19th December. The government has been asked to try and head off the strike at the busiest time of the year.

The action is in protest at plans to close their mail center in Weston, Crewe and Liverpool’s Copperas Hill sorting center and move the work to Warrington. Royal Mail want to offer all affected workers positions in Warrington but the CWU counter that many employees can’t afford to travel or relocate.

To say that it’s not good news for eBay sellers right at the height of the Christmas selling season is an understatement.

62 Responses

  1. Well they will just have to walk at 8 miles an hour the next day instead of 4, plus I hate to think about the weight of their sacks with 2 days of Christmas post…….

  2. DHL et-al will be laughing like drains, and revving up the reindeer
    do the silly so and sos think they are doing themselves, any good
    another batch of Royal Mail customers will find alternatives and never go back,
    many more will bear a grudge, and when anything better comes along they will jump ship

  3. Its a conspiracy – sometimes it feels like an uphill battle,
    Suz x
    PS- Thanks again for the heads up – might as well say Bye to my DSRs now,
    Did eBay once say when there were strikes DSRs would be suspended?
    Or is that wishful thinking?

  4. Might they consider a compromise?

    I suggest they strike for five days on the 24th to 28th Dec.

    The public support would be stronger, comrades.

  5. Oh, powersellers may get protection from postal strikes but not the smaller sellers? How lovely of them. Ebay does not deserve our loyalty, neither does Royal Mail, it’s about time someone gave them some competition, when we get out of this financial mess that is…no point in starting up a new business is there not at the moment. 😐

  6. Why would DHL etc be so happy, who delivers their items? I think it’s Royal Mail…These areas will try to post 1st class stamped items out on the day of the strike so DHL and co’s mail will be left until the back log is cleared

  7. Being a postal worker for 2years now i find it a shame that customers of the royal mail seem to think that it is always the fault of the postmen, they don’t realise that we are only planning to strike to keep our jobs, if we didn’t strike there would be a 95% chance that we wouldn’t have a job at the end of this year. Therefore we are planning on striking to show that we care about the public and we want the public on our side, cause without the public supporting us then we can win our battle to keep the sorting offices open and our customers can still see their postman.

    Just think back to the time when we had 2 posts a day, us postmen went out on strike back then to keep the 2 deliveries a day but we got no support whatsoever from the public therefore 2nd class post was dropped from the afternoon and now you get 1st and 2nd class arriving at the same time.

    So come on please support us we can’t keep our offices open without your support.

    Those working in Oxford have been told they will have to travel to Manchester if they want to keep their jobs plus they have been told they will only be able to work part-time

  8. #14 What is the strike about?

    I fully support workers standing up for there rights and beliefs, what are yours, why are you striking?

  9. Fully support the strikers who are striking because they are about to lose 5,000 jobs. I have to say I am dissapionted with people attitude towards them. North sounds abit of a selfish man, if the shoe was on the other foot he would be thinking differently. Perhaps he is worried about his dole cheque.The attitude of people seems to be selfish even when woolworths was heard to be closing and 35000 people were going to lose their jobs people were moaning about why the goods were not cheaper.They were not bothered about the workers who are going to lose their jobs at xmas. May be it a sign of the times, selfish gits.

  10. Now that Ebays cosying up to big retailers it would be a good idea if they could work with Tesco whereby sellers could drop off parcels to their nearest store, post gets sorted and delivered to the Tesco store nearest the customer, would break the Royal Mail stranglehold in one fell swoop

  11. many years ago in another life ,I was a GMB shop stewart in the tyneside ship yards
    I know all about it
    and I ask the question of those that would strike,

    how many jobs did shipyard workers strikes save, how many pits did the striking miners save

  12. to delay and disrupt folks christmas cards ,and present delivery
    is a sure fire way to lose support not gain support

  13. I think that the miners had no choice but to strike & were right to strike (sometimes you can’t just bend over).

    I would have a lot more sympathy for the postal workers if the service they gave wasn’t so ……. poor.

  14. My lack of sympathy has nothing to do with the postal workers who may be out of work – they have my every sympathy.

    My stance is however that the latest tranche of changes have been known about for many months. The unions have simply decided to call strike action now because it will have much greater news coverage in the run up to Christmas than if they’d called in back in September.

    You can’t have it both ways – if you want the public on your side you not only need to state your case coherently, but you also need to realise that the public are much more concerned over little Johnny’s present arriving on time for Christmas than the Unions choosing the busiest time of year to grab a few headlines.

    My question has to be if you were going to strike why wasn’t it months ago?

  15. #20 Is the service poor because of the workers or the management? my postie delivers my 1st class post at lunch time which imho is crap, is that the postmans fault?

  16. of course its the posties fault Whirly

    a couple of hours practice on a pair of roller blades and you could have your mail at 11 instead.

  17. #15 we’re threatening to strike on 19th December because the local sorting offices are being threatened with closure. If my local sorting office closed which is 1.5miles away I would either have to be made redundant or travel into carlisle every day which is further away and I don’t drive just to keep my job. So we’re only striking so that we can keep our jobs at our local sorting offices

  18. #25 But Royal Mail announced their Β£50m regional plans at the start of August. Why didn’t you strike in August when the plans were announced? Or is it just that Christmas is a great time to bugger up the postal service to get maximum news coverage?

  19. @ # 26

    I don’t know anything about the strike since I’m in the US but wouldn’t it make more sense to strike as close as possible to closure because there is less risk to the employee? If they strike in August that possibly means 3 months less work.

  20. we cudnt strike in august because both sides were supposed to be keepin it confidencial to avoid industrial suicide. your mail when local mail centres close . will be arriving later. first class post will go out of the window. and will be delivered even in the evening. we deliver and process all mail for tnt and uk mail etc…they are allowed to charge less… but we have to process it at a low price. government doin nowt to stop this… they want us privatised…and when that happens….watch the fiasco of what happened with bt and energy companys…the public wont know where to turn for their mail cos they wont have a a clue where or who has it. and btw lost of mail goes missing cos people do now address stuff properly or even bother to put a damn stamp on

  21. and as for people from oxford goin to manchester..they can dream on cos bolton ( where i am) stockport and oldham staff are goin there. were all doomed. and thats why we striking..lose job..lose home…we cant just let the government do this to us….and it is the government it isnt royal mail

  22. and btw we are not striking to stop the closures…they will happen regardless….even the union said that. we are striking for the promise of a job or a decent retirement package…and so that royal mail employess will be offered a reasonable job or redundancy, and wont be sacked with nothing for rejecting a job miles away that they cant get to

  23. #30

    I have a number of comments on this.

    I have been made redundant twice in the last 4 years. I now work full time on my ebay business.

    The last strike happened while I was was working for my last company. The company went to different suppliers and developed new solutions. This resulted in 3 post room staff getting made redundant. So the postmen/ladies all keep their jobs and 3 other people lose them.

    The post office needs to join the real world. You will get redundancy if you do not accept a new position. There are terms in place already, why should the tax payers be blackmailed into giving you enhanced terms.

    The last strike caused a massive drop off in my sales. If that happens this time I will not be able to feed my family and kids. I can’t go on strike so yet again this selfish action has an impact on other people.

    They get no sympathy.

  24. With internet Banking, emails etc do we still need a daily post, delivery three times per week would be more than sufficient

  25. #32 Tend to agree with you, with any service provider I use if the option for a paperless bill is presented I take it, most days its just crap coming through the door which goes straight in the recycling, I don’t even bother opening them.

  26. The trouble is that the alternatives to Royal Mail will not be viable for many eBay sellers/small businesses (especially with free P&P being encouraged). I wonder what percentage of eBay sales go through 1st/2nd class?

  27. alternatives to royal mail are becoming more and more viable
    striking only brings that day forward

  28. “Not for low value items at low volume.”


    so who does a strike affect the most?
    the little guy who is most likely to have sympathy

  29. #30 “Sue Royal Mail” – I think you need to check up with your union why you’re striking. From CWU’s front page today:
    The dispute with Royal Mail over the proposed closures of major mail centres continues this Friday with strike action in six cities.
    (emphasis mine)

  30. Tired of Postmen being blamed for all this..WE ARE NOT STRIKING!!! It’s the sorting office at Farnworth/Bolton and the drivers. The postmen will be out on Friday and Saturday even if we only have a few letters.

    The sorting offices will close and all this will achieve is people will lose money when it’s needed most

  31. #40

    More MPH more work!! TBH Royal Mail are a good company to work for, we’ve had xmas bonuses, free stamps and other ‘bonuses’ that no longer exsist for the majority of working people. Some of the systems are out of date but most targets are reached and 94% of all first class items are delivered next day
    The union has little support from the postmen as they took us out on strike last year and we gained nothing.

  32. The postmen who come to my door for my personal mail and my business collection are fantastic.

    But the last strike still caused me major issues.

  33. I feel similarly to HUF on this – individual posties that I come into contact with are great, but the last round of strikes did have a major impact on my business, which lasted long after the strikes themselves were done and dusted.

  34. I,m not putting myself through the drama of last years strike, i,m stopping selling on Wednesday afternoon.

    Last years strike was a nightmare and i got through it because of good comms, alot of luck,and lots of understanding buyers.

    I had to travel to Wigan from Liverpool everyday to post items after the workers from Liverpool decided to stay on strike when most workers went back.

    I will support anyone fighting to save their job,but i think there is a time and a place to fight your corner, the last weekend before xmas is not it if you are postal worker.

    Little Sam not getting his pj,s from Santa is not going to help you case.

  35. A good lot of comments from across the board on this subject.

    Can I make these comments;

    The goverment has just announced that Royal Mail will need ‘PRIVATE’ investment, probaly a forgein operator.
    Anyone selling on ebay will acknowledge that once you are sending apaket over say, 3-4 klg then we all use the likes of DHL. This is for speed/tracking/cost.

    The problem comes in when small sellers,sell small items that fall into standard/large letter/ + packets upto 2 klg.
    We have posted about 200 large letters/packets in the last month & frankly who r where is Royal Mails competition…..simply nowhere as there isn’t anyone that want to have the network or infrastucture to collect/sort/deliver small (lge letters) for about .42p – 66p.
    Yes of course if you’re BIg you pop off & get a contract with TNT or Ukmail, get 10%?? off, & that suits them & it does not matter that Royal mail ends up doing all the work sorting/delivering etc for a fraction of what the public pay, because this ‘wonderful’ (<<sarcastic comment) goverment said Royal Mail must have competition. In truth TNT &Ukmail etc, are not competition they are leaches that have (with Goverment permission) drained more out of the system, to boost their profits. Just the same as electric/gas/water utilities etc.

    Royal Mail is not perfect by any means, but there is no alternative, until we have a star trek’ transporter system. then we will just put our packet in the portal press in the postcode, it will disappear & reappear in Wigan or .

    Re last years strike…. What a mess that was, at least (if there is such a thing) it’s only 1 day this year.
    I was surprised how many of our customers said (in 2007) that they didn’t know a post strike was on!!!!.

    Ebay has risen upwards over the last few years (together with Amazon & the rest).
    I do wonder what mess the Postal service would be in if ’email order’ had not taken off in the Uk & world. And how big the dole ques would be if many people had’nt taken the plunge & started selling on ebay etc.

    Of course here’s a good idea, with so many ebay sellers we could just collect each others post, take it to our areas & post it through local letter boxes. And visa versa from north to south etc. The problem is that WHO wants to go out rain or shine (lots of the 1st & not much of the latter these days) for what a cut of the 42p joeblogseller paid to send the item (ie the last 6p left in the kitty).
    Line up here for applications for the jobs.

    Obviously we had all the postal rates change recently, so I would have hoped the PO would have at least stopped some of the losses, but only them & the goverment know that.

    Im afraid that Royal Mail must fight for it’s business, otherwise it wll be lost to a forgein operator, which many may say would not be a bad thing. But personnally I would prefer it to stay nationally owned (in full). Oh and the next time you want to pop into your local sorting office to collect that recorded delivery item, don’t complain when you have to drive 20-30 miles.

  36. #46 ‘Re last years strike…. What a mess that was, at least (if there is such a thing) it’s only 1 day this year.’

    I,m in Liverpool and these are the same workers striking that refused to go back to work when the strike was over last year.I,m not taking the chance on them doing the same thing.My Xmas holiday starts today at 2pm πŸ˜‰

  37. Maybe a name change to “Bank of Mail” would help. Then a rescue package could be organized by the tax payer.

  38. Dont be so sure of it being 1 day..heard a rumour today xmas eve is being looked at.

    Greeat poin abou the so called competition cherry picking te large contracts and then Royal MAil doing the sorting/delivering but at a loss.

    Also got to add this….A state of the art sorting machine was brought in, redundancies were made earlier in the year as this machine meant less sorters. Turns out the machine can’t read coloured envelopes (Esp Red) or most hand writng, this means we are doing the sorting in the delivery office, going out later and then booking overtime on the back end!!!

    Also wont be long before we are 9-5, Monday to Friday!! Watch this space

  39. Local radio in Liverpool reporting the strike,s not going ahead nothing on the BBC news site though.I did hear a rumour this morning that it might not go ahead, anyone heard anything ?

  40. Posties dont do themselves a lot of favours when they leave sorry your not at home card,
    when you are in, but have not answered the door within the time it takes to fill out the card

  41. #52 north, you’re lucky, most posties don’t bother to knock or take the item out of depot in the first place before leaving the card.

  42. I this strike is utter bulls+*t, Everytime royal mail postmen moan about there pay, who gets messed around? not the people paying there wages, noooo the people trying to get parcels over christmas, those who go on strike should be threatened with getting ifred, lets see how many strike then, when it effects them for a change.
    royal mail are the worst postal servie in the uk, but sadly its the main one. i bet there kids dont suffer because of late parcels like the rest of us.
    id fire every single one who goes on strike , there are plenty of job seekers out there that would replace them

  43. a could of times they dont even post the items they leave them on the bloody doorstep!!!!!!! so its not like they are doing there jobs worth anyhow the useless waisters!!!!!!!!!

  44. this is stupid cant u strike at a different time

    how about you do your jobs insted of bitching

    if you do not like it quit ❗

  45. #58 don’t tell people that, all my customers think that’s why their item is late, nothing to do with my oversleeping at all!

    The reason the royal mail is going down the pan is because of the lazy incompetent staff, this strike is a last ditch attempt from the union to protect their frauds and scams.

  46. The Royal Mail have lost over 40 of our parcels in the last 8 weeks! Most of these sent 1st recorded delivery. We are thinking of moving to the new Royal Mail Tracked service which is more expensive but apparently items get scanned at 5 stages during the journey which is a lot more helpful when needing to reassure customers their item is in transit. Has anyone else used this service…..we are to go live with the software after Xmas and wondered if anyone has got any feedback on whether it is actually any better πŸ˜•

  47. I send on average 200 parcels a week most low value.I have very few missing items and find that nine times out of ten when a item does not get delivered it is at the buyers local sorting office as postie has been un-able to deliver and has not left a card.Recently i have had major problems with Airmail packages which is worring as i have not had these problems before.

  48. #59 Harsh most Royal Mail workers are hard working and honest, there is always a few bad apples in every line of work.


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