And they're off again: RM strikes 25th-28th July

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The BBC is reporting further Royal Mail strikes are on the cards for the 25th, 27th and 28th July. After today’s one day strike across various parts of the UK, it’s being suggested that there will be no deliveries in London “and other selected regions” on Saturday 25th July, and that workers in the capital’s distribution centres could also walk out on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th July.

This industrial action is the latest in a series of stand-offs between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers’ Union, with both sides accusing the other of breaking agreements made in 2007 over modernisation and changes in working practices. The union has said that today’s action could delay the post for a week, so an effective four day stoppage has the potential to disrupt deliveries for much longer.

35 Responses

  1. Let me get this right.

    1. The country is in a recession.
    2. Unemployment figures are going up daily.
    3. Many small businesses who rely on Royal Mail are on the edge of folding.
    4. Many workers are working 4 day weeks, or being asked to take a pay deduction, or unpaid holidays.

    But the post office workers are going to strike.

    Something isn’t quite right here, or am I losing the plot?

  2. Gelnn, you’re quite right.

    It just beggars belief that these idiots think they can still behave as they did on the 70’s and 80’s. For once I’m with Lord Mandy and hopefully he’ll put his foot down at some point and stop this nonsense.

  3. Our post arrives at approx 2.30pm every day, anyone who sends me post is being ripped off.

    It is a tired relic and should be put to sleep before anymore of my hard working tax is wasted on it.

    Like BA, let it die.

  4. Email the CWU via their website. They have to be told what effect their actions are having. What good it will do generally is unclear, however it made me feel better to vent my spleen. 😉

  5. I really don’t know what their issue is, or how justified they think their action is, but the reality is that they are seriously damaging the economy.

    Most of Tambay contributors are sellers, so we all know the effect of even one days lost trading. If they step up and go all out on strike I will be placing ebay on Holiday settings.

    The grief and lowered DSR’s just doesn’t make it worth the effort.

    I drop off a collection bag at our small rural post office every day and I know from speaking to the manager that a large percentage of his trade comes from online sellers.

    These strikes are not only bad for businesses it’s also having a negative effect on small rural post offices, and enough of them have closed already.
    Every time a small or large business (as we have recently seen with DrSteveW) closes, there is less revenue for the post office. Less revenue means reductions in staff and services.

    The idea of strike action seems so counter productive, you can almost image that senior ebay managers were consulted.

    Why has selling become so hard?

    Maybe its time to buy a van and join the car boot brigade.

  6. We just try to post around the days of srikes. So far not to many probs.

    Touble is, (whilst I agree with Whirly) there is simply not an alternative to RM.

    The only good part is, the current strikes are now Late July/early August, which is the kipper season for many sellers as everyones off on Hols’.

    Lets just hope they leave NOV-DEC alone.

  7. #7 I agree, but a new firm would appear if we let this dinosaur die…It’s hard to compete against a company that is constantly fed cash by the tax payer to prop it up, kinda gives it an unfair advantage. imho.

  8. Can’t imagine any new firm wanting to deliver a letter (normally next day) for 39p though. I guess that the end is on the cards for Royal Mail, as we once knew it. I don’t think that the replacement is going to offer anywhere near the service we get at present from the Royal Mail, both in terms of reliability or cost. It wasn’t that long ago that I would always have my post by 8 & then a second lot at 11. Now it turns up at mid afternoon if at all.

    I don’t think we can really blame the CWU for the present state of play.

  9. Hi,

    I had a chat with our two regular post people one in her late 50’s and one guess she is early 20’s.

    The one in her 50’s could not see my point and told me well hard luck mate….. we will strike if we want and you will have to put up with it. When I explained that each time they strike I have to lose business or find other carriers, she told me it was because of people like me that they are having to strike, she was one hot headed striker and she said she hopes there will be loads more, I just said good bye……………………..

    Next day door bell rang and young post girl (who you would think was into strikes etc), handed me some parcels, some stuff from Google etc, and she said had I heard the news about the strikes, I said I had, and was about to say something, when she almost cried and said she was so sorry about it, and knew how it effected small businesses like mine and others around the country.
    She then went onto say how if they do strike she will not be taking part and will make sure her local business people get their mail as soon as possible, but it could be delayed if they strike up here.
    Same business, but two very different people and outlooks. And I know who will be getting a bonus at Christmas lol the younger girl.

    You see she had the long term out look and knew the small business person paid her bills.

    Sorry long post.

  10. Bunchy, I emailed the CWU as well via their website, & copied it to my MP and Lord Mandelson’s department. I know they won’t give a flying whatever (and needless to say no response, not even an acknowledgment), but I felt better getting it off my chest too.

  11. Good for you Gill. When the stikes were on last time I did exactly the same. I even got a reply from some guy called Steve Jones at the CWU. He was rather, shall we say, condescending. Am still waiting for a reply to this year’s email ……
    As for the MP’s they were polite and sympathetic but couldn’t really help in any way, which is what I expected really.

    Last time a lot of buyers weren’t even aware of the strikes, or simply thought it was something that wouldn’t affect them. That was until they got no mail for several days …… What with the credit crunch and people being a bit more distracted by the kids being off school, impending holidays etc I bet a lot of buyers won’t even realise until they get a tonne of junkmail week after next.

  12. We should have sold off the RM when we had the chance – Mandleson had the right idea.

    I would sack the buggers who go on strike, and hire some of the 2m people on the dole – they would gladly take the job me thinks.

    Also my postie always walks over my garden – as a short cut…I should set a boobie-trap for him next time hmmmm 😉

  13. JP if Royal Mail had been sold off do you think you would still be getting the same level of service & the same great value?

  14. #14 Yes, without question. In fact I think it would be far better than we have ever had. Royal Mail is a relic, it hates change, in fact it thinks that change is the cause of all it’s problems.

    Royal Mail is like that relative we all have, you know the one that harks on about how good things used to be and “…in my day blah blah”

    So many people use the line “do you think they would be able to deliver a letter for 39p”…who cares.

    Gone are the days when we all send letters to our lonely nan in norwich or whatever…email, mobile phones, sms…times have changed. Royal Mail have ignored this change and have been left behind.

    Business papers are about the only thing these days going by post and most of the time a fax is good enough.

    I’m fairly sure that if there was a public vote on making RM private, about the only people to vote against it would be postal workers, their families and nans that live in Norwich!

  15. “I’m fairly sure that if there was a public vote on making RM private, about the only people to vote against it would be postal workers, their families and nans that live in Norwich!”

    oh and every one that runs a business that doen’t want its shipping overhead quadrupled.

    luv em or hate em, no one can do what RM does at the price point.

  16. #17 But that may be the point, nobody can INCLUDING Royal Mail. They cannot be left to think they can strike whenever they feel like it.

    I would rather pay extra but KNOW that the service will not be disrupted with strikes. It will only take one Halloween or Christmas strike and certain businesses will crumble.

  17. I doubt the amount you pay will make any difference to the number of strikes.

    Although I would not mind paying more if it meant they stopped closing their very handy collection points ( post offices to you and me)

  18. It sounds to me as long as you got a job, its ok to be bullied by the management you are employed by!

    As a 57 year old postman who has worked for Royal Mail for 32 years I have admit that I cant take the pressure of delivering 12 sacks of mail a day (5 days a week) on my back & walking in the midday heat for 4 hours. I am under pressure daily because of my age & am in no question being bullied by the managers where I work, or else I will lose my job.

    It saddens me to see people think as long as your paid by a company then its ok for them to bully you because 2.5 million people are out of a job. Ok I can quit, but that’s what RM want me to do as Im only 3 years away form retirement. & after 32 years working Royal Mail I honestly don’t think I can see this job our till I’m 60. But hey the public don’t care about that as long as we are in a job.

    But please remember it was the RM management who has made your service such a bad one. We the postman are in it for the long term where the managers are here for the short term, only for them to pick up the bonus they will receive when the business finally goes private.

    The reason you get your mail so late in the day is because of the RM managers in the first place. They will not let us leave our office till 11am with a 4 hour round in front of us. & guess what?? with the new changes the RM management are planning, you be getting your mail as late as 6pm. I just wish people could see that the managers at Royal Mail are just awful. All RM care about is profit!! Customer service is a thing of the past. Where I work are we have 2 polish guys who cannot speak English! & temps who come in and the managers just give them a bag and say ‘here you go best of luck’ without any training what so ever.

    Sorry for my long letter on the computer. never done one of these before but felt rather compelled to write something after the comments I read above. But honestly I, like many other postman/women want to give a good service but sadly the management are stopping us from doing so. Ask most postman. we would love to give you a 2 day delivery again, however this wont happen as its cheaper if you only have the one delivery. Anyway you probably wont agree with me & call us lazy (even though I walk over 30 miles a week) but I tried my best. Hope its all sorted out soon, I really do.

  19. It’s easy to criticise Royal Mail and the posties, but until you’ve tried the job you won’t know what it’s really like. I would imagine it’s a lot tougher than people think.


  20. Well, I was a postman for two years and there was a strike whilst I was employed. I still went into work though and it wasn’t the managers who were bullys it was all the “old boys”.

    The “old boys” would make anyone who went to work, just trying to do the job that they were paid to do, feel like crap, call them names, ignore them etc.

    I understand your position and feel for you but at the end of the day times change. There are many regulations that protect employees rights and if you feel you are being bullied or overworked then you should follow the internal procedures and if you get no joy then take legal action.

    As soon as you start to take things into your own hands, it starts to effect everyone else, and even though I appreciate the difficult position you are in, my business comes first and always will. If that means working the “old boys” out of the business then so be it, harsh maybe but business is business.

    I think it’s about time that you all stopped blaming the managers and grow up. Striking is a thing of the past and simply shouldn’t happen these days.

  21. I agree with a lot you say Bigpoppa. Especially when it came to when the “old boys” used to rule and threaten to go on strike every time they were even looked at funny. But that honestly is the thing of the past with a majority of those types having left now. But the fact is that the managers are destroying the Royal Mail Business.

    The ridiculously overcharging of £1 on surcharge items that is as little as 1p underpaid. For example I had 4 surcharge items for a customer that in total was 20p underpaid. He had to pay £4.20 if he wanted to receive his items, which personally I think is daylight robbery!!! & then RM wonder why we are losing customers by the day. By the way RM have made £10 million on surcharges alone this year.

    Delivering to people abodes after 3pm, including some schools & business who need their mail earlier.

    We now delivery 3 lots of unaddressed mail otherwise known as junk to your door 3 times a week (ie leaflets, pizza, mobile, college courses, etc) which there want to make up to 5.

    Cutting jobs by a third in most offices when the company made a staggering £321million just doesn’t make sense.

    Basically RM are making as much money out of people as they possibly can. Read the comments above & you can see how people feel. They are getting a terrible & poor service already. & I know this because I see it on a daily basis. This surely cannot be blamed on the postman. I want to give a good service to my customers, but sadly the things they have in place it just simply cannot be done. Scarcely some of the things they have planned in the coming future is going to make the service even worse.

    Ok not very good at putting my point across. But a lot of postman fear for their jobs. Our office has been cut from 120 to under 70 in 2 years. & they are still threatening to take more (even when they made a huge profit in our office)

    Will leave you with this thought. Many postman believe that RM big picture is getting rid of Postman full stop. That means the public will have to pick up their own Mail from the delivery Office. Can you imagine how much RM can save then??? Think im joking? Wish I was.

    Sorry once again for long comment

  22. What does the CWU hope to gain from pissing off Royal Mail customers? This strike action does not hurt Royal Mail management, it hurts thousands of businesses, big and small AND every CWU member’s neighbours, friends and families.
    Surely there MUST be an up-to-date way of getting their voice across other than 70’s strike actions which gain no public sympathy.

  23. What is happening/has happened to Royal Mail is very sad. I am 100% behind the CWU.

  24. #25 Then you simply don’t understand how society needs to work together to solve issues and problems.

  25. By opening up delivery of mail / parcels to private companies, the Royal Mail was made vulnerable to competition from more agile operations able to ‘cherry pick’ profitable services (e.g overnight delivery), and then left regulated to carry on providing less profitable (or loss-making) services (e.g low value deliveries to remote areas).

    The government then applies pressure to Royal Mail to achieve more profit (i.e less subsidy) to meet their political agenda (part or full privatisation).

    Strikes that do not have a crystal-clear principle behind them very rarely benefit workers in the longer term and arguably make the government’s agenda more attractive to the majority of the general public. I’m sure that the postal workers have many strong points to talk about – but the complexities of those issues and the prevailing economic circumstances are against them receiving majority support. The company are undoubtedly acting in a way that is driven by the political / financial pressures being applied by government.

    From a (small volume) seller’s perspective, so far I’ve found that there still isn’t another single delivery company that offers the universal service flexibility, value and convenience for my buyers that Royal Mail does.
    For that reason, the strike / privatisation issues are very strong on my ‘risk radar’. A change is gonna come…

  26. My pennys worth:

    Whatever happens to Royal Mail (private or not) YOUR postal costs will rise.

    In public hands the service will stay nationwide, ie; the same cost for a letter 1 mile down the Road OR 250 miles to some scottish island (assuning you are in the SE, etc).

    If it is privatised (even partially) much of the service we now get, will go. Any firm that comes in will want to keep the profitable parts & dump the letters to scotland for 36p (just like DHL or similar does now, charge twice as much for the highlands for parcels).
    (INTERESTING THOUGHT: Do people sending parcels, that are based in the Highlands, have to pay a differnt zone rate to sent to the South????)

    Under Labour, G Brown’s part privatisation plans are in a mess, it all very well when the whole system is swimming in ££££££ssssss, but when it gets a bit rough, off they (private Co’s) go, and get out quick or go into admin/bankruptcy etc,

    The Goverments ‘competition’ rules, that allow the likes of UKmail etc’, to undercut mail posting costs, then just collect the sack & dump it on Royal Mail for delivery, is absolutely disgusting…………….
    If any of these so called mail co’s had to do all the job, ie: pick up & dediver to the addressee. you can be promised, they would not want to know.

    This has been so typical of this Goverment & so many projects they have entered into, have flounded, but ‘NO’ they still say in their arrogant way, that they are right……

    Please do not read this as I am a steadfast supporter of Royal Mail, but there is & never will be an alternative, so either we get used to it (right or wrong) or put all of our postal prices up, so much that Mail order will become thing of the past, not the future.

    It’s alright for the sellers that use DHL etc’ & sell items of enough value to use them, but many.many sellers sell in the Low £££sss bracket, so how else are we supposed to get it there.

    At the time of the last big strikes, a few years ago, I suggested on Tamebay, that all ebay saellers could start a postal service & collect & deliver each others post from other areas……………..mind you. this would have to be at a similar rate to RM. So the seller that posts a 100g LL for 47p 2nd class, can then send it to Scotland & the seller in scotland can get the end 6p (or whatever’s left) for delivering 10 miles down the Road……………NOT SURPRISINGLY there were no takers or imput from others, even though i was intended as a light hearted joke, at the time of a bad situation.

    Today’s Managers, think they know all & everything….Just look at how many CEO’s have fallen on heir own swords. I was bought up with the attitude that experience takes time…..something today;s Bosses do not seem to understand.

    Finally, (sorry for the length), Even if RM was sent to the postal service in the sky, it would take decades to re-establish a similar service. the only way would be that a new operator would take over Royal Mail as it is.
    PO’s, Postboxes, Van, Sorting centres etc, etc,.
    BUT who would be there employed, the only one’s that know how , Yes the existing staff.

  27. the only one’s that know how , Yes the existing staff.

    …I think you are giving RM too much credit there to be honest. About twice a week I get a neighbours letter. Of around 30 Recorded parcels posted each week, maybe 13-20 actually bother getting a signature. Of around 100 special delivery parcels posted every month, maybe 3 get lost for over a week.

    I’ve had recorded parcels sent to me, left in our recycling bin! no note saying to do so and again no signature obtained. The list goes on and on.

    That’s just my limited experience, I assume i’m not unique. So to say that no-one else can provide the same service as Rm is a VERY good thing!

  28. #30 Why does anyone still use Paypal or eBay…

    At the moment, given the qty/size etc of items we post, RM is the best solution. However, just because they are the best for my needs doesn’t mean they provide a good service.

    I HAVE to use them given the choice we have, I don’t CHOOSE to use them, big difference.

  29. Can anyone find any official up-to-date info on what’s happening with the strikes that are supposed to begin tomorrow?
    As at 7:55 am nothing on RM or CWU sites (well, if it’s there it’s VERY well hidden).

  30. Jackson’s Strike started the rot in the postal system, and this lot seem determined to finish it. Time to break the monopoly.


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