CWU escalate Royal Mail strikes

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The Communication Workers’ Union has announced today that further industrial action against Royal Mail will take place this Friday, Saturday and Monday (7th – 10th August). Workers in London, Birmingham, Coventry, Edinburgh and other areas will each strike for 24 hours. Royal Mail drivers are included for the first time in this ongoing dispute – meaning, say the union, that cross-country mail services will be severely disrupted. From Tuesday 11th, Stoke on Trent will be taking continuous strike action.

Dave Ward, the CWU’s general secretary, has said “Postal workers are sick and tired of an incompetent management running their business into the ground.” Small businesses who rely on Royal Mail and cannot operate without them might have similar feelings towards the union: industrial action is only going to push more and more of us away from RM into the arms of private couriers. Royal Mail have consistently cited the decline in mail volume as one of their biggest challenges: the union are making that worse.

The RM’s website has a full list of affected areas; scroll to the bottom for links to more specific information for your area.

114 Responses

  1. #3 You’re just saying that to provoke a response on this board. Anyone who supports strike action, is stuck in the past with them and doesn’t understand how businesses need to behave in the modern era to be successful.

  2. Postal union guy was on tv tonight.

    on his shirt a logo which read “solidarity with cuba”

    About sums it up really.

  3. And as an aside perhaps they should change the unions name as communication seems a bit of a misnomer if you ask me.

  4. Perhaps someone would explain to these idiots we’re in a recession and the damage they’re doing business in this country? Steve, you voluntering? No I guess not as you’re with them on this. At least nowdays you have the time to join the picket lines and show proper support. 🙂

    This is leading straight to where we were in 2007 in the run up to Christmas with strike action nationwide.

    I don’t understand why Mandy doesn’t just stop all this nonsense and hand the contract to run RM to DHL/Deutsche Post. Then this lot could all strike for the rest of their lives with no modernisation but of course also no jobs.

  5. Fact is, in the modern day striking does absolutely nothing. We are in a eco crisis, so if there is no money to keep paying for jobs etc etc. then what do those striking actually hope to achieve?
    My view is that every single individual who strikes should lose their job; they are creating a great and selfish disruption to a public service. They will not get what they are asking for, but they will go about the procedure of costing others vast amounts of money anyway (particularly for people who rely on the post service as part of their business).

    It is times like this that make me despise the RM. There is no wonder we are losing confidence in them, when they strike without warning. B@$t@!ds.

  6. @Alex

    These strikes are all ‘official’. They have held ballots and given RM the required 7 days notice.
    RM are not making the information easily available.

    I am not sure that there is any obvious way forward now because they are all ‘local’ strikes. And they are escalating as local branches want to be seen to be ‘solid’ with the cause. Whatever that is.

    There is bad feeling between management and worker in more and more places.

  7. I can’t help thinking it’s easy to criticise the RM staff but if you “walked a mile in their shoes” you might feel somewhat differently. I have good friends who work for RM (at Stoke On Trent) and they basically feel that they have no alternative, this is the only action they can do to make the management take any notice, everything else falls on deaf ears.

  8. #12 “this is the only action they can do to make the management take any notice”…. I’m pretty sure management are well aware that their workers don’t like or want change. That’s the problem.

    Still if they want to see Royal Mail go the same way as Woolworths they’re going the right way about it. If they don’t like the job anymore why the heck don’t they just look for alternative employment?

    I’ll probably get a load of grief for saying that – but no one is forcing them to work for a company who it appears is going in a different direction and will continue to do so either with or without the strikers.

    Jobs for life is so 1970’s. Just doesn’t happen any more. Either roles change or people move companies.

  9. I think Crozier & Mandelson are the ones who be taking responsibility for the strike and for the depreciation of our postal service.

  10. Andy don’t think you will be so happy when your paying more money for a less efficient service from a private company.

  11. ps: the private company will most probably need to be bailed out and re-nationalized down the line with execs getting tidy pay offs.

    Me I’d like a subsidized postal service that delivers daily to all & supports private enterprise in the UK through it’s subsidization.

    #17 Whirly why do you think you post arrives so late?

  12. I sell records and CDS. My eBay feedback ID crucialmusic) reflects the excellent service I get from my local Royal Mail but unlike them I cannot go on strike. I may be sympathetic to their “plight” as I have a cousin who is a postie BUT I need to find an alternative carrier especially as I have to offer free postage on eBay soon.
    Can anyone suggest an alternative service to Royal Mail at comparative rates and speed for CDs/records? I doubt it so the strike will not drive me away. I have to grin and bear it. Last year (for the first time ever in years) I declined to give a Christmas tip to my postie. That is the extent of my protest!

  13. Postman in my office walk 8 miles a day on some of their rounds. From 17th August my round will increase to a 10 mile round. Thats 10 miles a day..50 miles a week…200 miles a month with a load on my back. Remember some of these guys have been doing this job for 30 years + & now in their late 50s early 60s. Royal Mail response is to these guys is ‘if you cant do the job then quit’ I have heard this with my own ears from a manager of 2 years(who has never been a postman in his live) to a postman in his 60s.who has been there for nearly 40 years. I was like many were totally disgusted. Sadly they is no Health & safety rules in how far someone can walk in one day as a postman which is absurd when you think the current climate with H&S policy’s.

    So basically if you think its ok to ask old man to deliver 12 sacks of mail a day in the midday heat between 11am to 3pm covering distances of 10 miles plus. Then you make a excellent RM manager.

    I agree that strikes cause disruption for the innocent public when we are already in hard times. Postal workers are Disciplined for not wanting to go over their allotted work time, discriminated and bullied by management for wanting to go home instead of not doing overtime, and penalized and threatened for going off sick. Royal Mail bosses blame a decline in post, but where each household used to receive 5 letters, and now receives 4 letters, it still doesn’t make any difference to the length of rounds. The posties still have to go to every house, regardless. CWU are only taking the last option of striking after banging their heads against a brick wall for months with a company who I also believe has no plans to be around in the distant future.

    People have to remember postman(who are in it for the long term) are fed up watching the managers(who are in it for the short term) ruin & basically bring down the company to its knees.

    It is obvious the company will never be successful ever again & the company as had its day. The managers know it & the postman know it. But sadly people do not realize the high hierarchy are trying to make as much money as they can before they can before it goes private. If that means that the quality of service will go down further… then so be it.

    I wish people would also stop blaming the postman for bringing their mail out late to them. Its the managers fault for you getting your mail late as we are not allowed to leave the office until 11.30. & with a 4 hour deliver planned in front of us this will mean I will normally drop my last letter through at around 3.30.

    As for Mandelson blaming CWU, need I say more from the guy who wants to sell off the Royal Mail with the CWU fighting against it.

    As for not giving the public 7 days notice, we heave known about this strike since last week but you was not informed about it by Royal Mail.

    For those who won’t miss Royal Mail when it’s gone, wait until it costs you a few pounds to send a letter a few miles and you’ll reflect on what a reasonable service you were once getting.

  14. So basically if you think its ok to ask old man to deliver 12 sacks of mail a day in the midday heat between 11am to 3pm covering distances of 10 miles plus. Then you make a excellent RM manager.

    I doubt most people could even walk 10 miles in four hours, I can walk 4-5 miles in two hours and I’m relitively fit, have long legs and use to walking distances. As for suggesting they also carry 12 sacks of mail, now you’re being rediculous. At least make your story plausable.

  15. Anyone that can carry 120+ kilo’s 10 miles in four hours and visiting all the houses deliverring mail on a route should be entering the Olympics. I think the crutial bit being left out is use of a RM van, but hey, let’s not let little things like that get in the way.

  16. I can’t believe that there are people who still believe that the antiquated and prehistoric attitude of the CWU is in the best interests of the business. ‘Steve Anthony Williams’, perhaps you could ask some of you friends at the SoT mailcentre to explain their outdated working practices that they insist of retaining. The staff are well paid for a job that many others would love. They have excellent benefits and a management that contrary to popular belief actually wants the business to succeed. The actions of the union will only cause more business to heomarage from Royal Mail and may cause smaller businesses in the interim to go bust. Selfish and disasterous. The leaders of the union should be sacked by their members. They will ultimately cause their job losses, not the managment.

  17. A delivery officer from the South East for nearly 25 years who is sick & tired of not being able to give the service his customers deserve.

    Sadly for me and other postman I have talked to feel we have been let down badly by the union(CWU).

    I can not believe what the CWU agreed to in 2007 ie regarding the absorption and flexibility we had to do in the future to make Royal Mail a successful business. I would even say a mass majority of us never even saw this agreement. & if we did, I am pretty sure we would not have agreed to it in the first place. But in saying that Royal Mail have broken things in this 2007 agreement too & they have conveniently forgotten about them.

    I know myself we need to change if we are ever going make this business successful again. But I honestly feel the changes that they are bringing in are not helping the business long term. Things like late afternoon delivery’s, emptying post boxes twice a day, charging honest people high amount on surcharges when they made an simple mistake, charging schools/companys fees for holding their mail over the holidays because they are closed, if you live on one the rounds where these walks are being absorb then you will have a different postman everyday, delivering 3 lots of unaddressed junk mail a week through your door & even if you got a sign on the door saying ‘no junk mail’ we are still told by our managers to ignore it and put it through your door, bringing in short term temps with no training who are basically just giving a map of where to go, is just asking for trouble & many more things I can go into, so in my opinion none of this is going to win the people over. So why do Royal Mail insist on these plans when it upsets the customers? & then they wonder why we are losing customers by the day.

  18. for attention to Richard.

    Make my story plausible?? I doubt most people could even walk 10 miles in four hours????

    I think you find that people walk marathons in 7and a half hours. So if you can only walk 4 miles in 2 hours you would be under some serious pressure from the Royal Mail managers. So if your questioning me about my story then if I dont believe yours? To walk 4-5 miles in 2 hours and your relatively fit I find very hard to believe.

    As for the sacks of mail (mostly wed, thurs, & friday) we do take out 12 bags. We can carry 16 kilos in the first 2 bags then we can only carry 11 kilos in bags there after.

  19. As for the sacks of mail (mostly wed, thurs, & friday) we do take out 12 bags. We can carry 16 kilos in the first 2 bags then we can only carry 11 kilos in bags there after.

    So you’re telling me you CARRY a total of 142 kilo’s in a total of 12 sacks on your back and over 10 miles? BULL.

    Marathon walkers are a completly different case, I’m refering to an average person.

  20. Not in all cases no, but on some rounds they do. You have no idea.

    As for the comment about marathon walkers are different, how do you work that out? People who walk normally go at the normal walking speed do they not?

  21. wheels, Nonsense! Carrying a total of 142 kilo’s in a total of 12 sacks on your back and over 10 miles is so rediculous it’s laughable. Just picking up 12 sacks off the ground weighing that much with two hands is quite a feat in itself let alone even walking. 😀

  22. #27 my middle name is Antony not Anthony. Pay attention to the details ….

    As for other people commenting here I said “Nice to see some empathy there for the Royal Mail workers”. I suggest you go look up the word “empathy” in a dictionary. Being empathic with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with them, it just means you see your point of view. I then said “Personally I don’t blame them”, and I don’t blame them, I think that in an organisation like Royal Mail which doesn’t listen to its employees striking is the only voice they have. The more control and restrictions you put on people (in case on employees) the more likely you will get retaliation.

    I don’t blame the RM staff for doing this and I fully understand why they are doing it, and I don’t blame the likes of Jon, Penny and Phil at Leek Road, Stoke On Trent. It’s all very way saying they should see it’s ruining RM but to be fair the management are ruining it even WITHOUT any strikes running…. The management needs to listen to its staff, this whole “we do what we like and you do as we say” philosophy is counter productive, and if the management actually listened to their staff and modernised WITH the staff as oppose to just “downsizing” they might actually something sorted. But it’ll be the same old chestnut, strike = talks = eventual resolution = puts it off for a while until next strike. RM needs to change and needs to change fast IMO, but the management need to involve the staff or it’s doomed IMO.

    Like I intimated (some of you might want to check that dictionary again) it’s easy to criticise but I suspect we’d all feel a lot different if we’d tried their job for a while….

    Steve – ethicalcompanies.co.uk

  23. Richard

    The managers will only let you pick one bag at a time due to Health and safety reasons, if they ever see you carrying 2, then they can bring you in for a counseling session…I kid you not.

    But on my round thats the sort of weight I take out now, ok I admit not everyday, but at least a couple times a week.

    Our rounds have doubled over the last couple of years. Most postman i admit are turning to those big red horrible ugly big prams to delivery the mail in. Never wanted to use one myself, but when my round is increased on the 17th & also taking the absorbing into account I may just have to.

  24. “wheels, Nonsense! Carrying a total of 142 kilo’s in a total of 12 sacks on your back and over 10 miles is so rediculous it’s laughable. Just picking up 12 sacks off the ground weighing that much with two hands is quite a feat in itself let alone even walking”

    I wonder what those grey RM boxes are for that you see dotted all over the countryside? Do they have their lunch dropped off in those or something?

  25. #36, Wheels, I’ll ask you yet again for the sake of clarity. Are you REALLY still claiming to carry 142kilos, 10 miles ANY day of the week? For those of us who still work in old money, that’s over 22 stone. Hands up those who can even lift that amount of weight off the ground.

  26. Richard

    I carry one bag of mail at a time. The first bag is 16 Kilos, when I finish that bag I do another bag of 16 kilos then when I finish that one I do a another bag of mail not weighing more then 11 kilos. Then all the other bags I do is the same. I do not carry out 142 kilos at one time on my back & I have never written that anywhere.

    To reiterate again the point that I made above:

    “But on my round thats the sort of weight I take out now, ok I admit not everyday, but at least a couple times a week.”

    I never at any time said or stated that I carry all 142 kilos on my back at the same time…. and I NEVER stated that I take this amount out every day… if you wanted clarity that then you should at least had taken the time to read correctly the statements that I have been making throughout this discussion…

    So the answer to your question, do I take out 142 kilos in an average daily round…. YES… do I carry the 142 kilo sacks of mail around me at the same time….. NO…

    So now Richard I’ll ask you yet again for the sake of clarity. Are you REALLY still claiming all you can walk is 4-5 miles in two hours with long legs & being relativity fit , For those of us who still work in old money, that’s 30 minutes per mile. Hands up those people who can walk as slow as this.

  27. My local postie has a push bike. Mind you I hear they’re to be phased out in the near future in favour of trolleys so that they don’t have to carry as much weight, they’ll just trundle it along. They’ll also be dropped off and picked up at the start/end of rounds if rumour is correct.

  28. Where I live they have trolleys & some use there own cars. I don’t have a regular postman anymore sometimes my post is delivered as a “second round” and somtimes by casuals. My post normally arrives mid to late afternoon.

  29. I cannot believe how stupid some of these comments are. I wouldn’t comment on other people striking unless I was actually doing that job as believe me nobody wants to lose money.
    You try getting up at 5am 6 days a week and working in all weathers.
    Most Postman really care about their customers and work very hard already, but would you happily have a huge increase in your workload for no extra pay when you know it would be physically impossible to complete the amount of work in time?
    What has happened over the years is that Postman have gone into work up to an hour before their start time, had no breaks and taken their own cars to speed the day up as to have the chance to generally get their head down for a few hours in the afternoon as they are up at 5am.
    Management have seen this and only see the finish time and not why you can finish early and so are trying to put a third more on a walk, this after increasing it substantially 4 years ago.
    We don’t mind being forced to come in on time, made to take our breaks, leave our cars at home and work until 2pm which we can easily do now with the workload we have, but what we object to is the ridiculous amounts they want to put on us.
    They have a computer which they set at 4 mph and a lower call rate (%age amount of houses you call at every day) of which it really is and although they say it averages out at 2.5 mph or so, it just doesn’t take into account the times you stop to write out dockets or get signatures etc.
    Most of us are reasonable and we know money has to saved and we accept a small amount could be added to some rounds, but what they are suggesting is so far out it is just embarrassing.
    You ask them to test your round even for one day to show them it can’t be done and they don’t want to know.
    I believe they are being put up to this by the government as even moderate, fair minded Postman are shaking their head at the moment.
    We are also having no pay rise this year and probably next year, yet the managers are getting big bonuses for the cuts they are making. Very fair indeed. You can’t really comment unless you do the job.

  30. #42 Blah blah blah…

    I was a postman for two years, I know what the job involves etc and there was strike action whilst I was there which I didn’t participate in because I am a “grown up”.

    had no breaks and taken their own cars to speed the day up as to have the chance to generally get their head down for a few hours in the afternoon as they are up at 5am.

    …Says it all really.

  31. No, I think you said it all. I wonder why you don’t work there now. Too hard for you was it?

  32. #44 yes, that’s right. I couldn’t handle the fast pace and heavy loads so I left and now I run two successful companies.

    #45 Simply moved away from the area and chose that as a time to try something new. Oh and also because most of the other posties were old farts who had got used to an easy life and now they were getting the hump because they actually had to do a days work.

  33. You can’t really comment unless you do the job.

    Oh I think that as a customer of these people I am more than entitled comment on yet another stike by folk I rely on to run my business.

    To be honest i dont give a fig if postmen feel hard done by, I am sure there are plenty of the 2 Million unemployed that would step into their shoes at a moments notice.

    Srtiking over pay in a recession??, they should be glad they have chuffing jobs!!

    rant over!

  34. board_surfer

    Postman are not going on strike over pay! Plain & simple. So I just wish sites would get that part of theinformation right . Its all about moderation and working conditions. Do not know one person who is striking over pay, but hey some people have already made your mind up already because they ignorant.

    As for the 2 million people who would step into our shoes, well we have had 4 new recruits in the last 2 months and all but 1 has left due to the fact they could not handle the mileage & the physical side of the job you have to do now..

    Richard (see posts above) does not believe me as he thinks its impossible to walk 10 miles in 4 hours but thats what we do. Some people have never walked 10 miles in their life over one day, never mind 50 miles a week, 200 miles a month etc. So find it quite laughable when people call us lazy

  35. #44 oh im sorry, your right, they are on strike because someone wants to make them work 9 – 5

    terrible that is, we should all down tools in sympathy.

    PS i dont think 4 out of 2 million is a very good sample size.

  36. IMHO….

    (1) Of course it’s possible to walk 10 miles in 4 hours(!) although, I wouldn’t want to do it.

    (2) My daughter’s boyfriend once temped as a postman in the run up to Christmas about 5 years ago and I URGED him to stop after the first week. I was shocked at the amount of mail he was expected to carry – I believe it was an illegal amount, but his managers turned a blind eye. His back was killing him, and he was only 25.

    (3) I think that, morally, if you sign up to a set of wages and conditions and see these constantly being eroded over time, of course you will feel aggrieved. It has happened to me in firms I have worked in.

    (4) My business, too, will be affected, but customers will realise there is a postal strike and will probably take this into account. Communicating the problem to them should help and you can offer them Special Delivery Next Day, which I believe is being honoured for the most part.

    (5) I think sometimes we self employed take our life styles for granted. Sure we work long hours, but generally it is a labour of love for us; we choose to do it. Would we want to go traipsing the streets for miles as these post men and women do? I doubt it. I think we should cut them some slack.

  37. Ps. Also, IMHO, I think the way some posters attack others is very immature. Do we have to behave like politicians? Surely everyone’s entitled to their opinions?

  38. The bottom line is still, as Sue points out a few posts above, that lots and lots of people will lose money over this and you say it yourself wheels, the CWU agreed these changes in 2007 but now want to go back on that agreement?
    I couldn’t give a monkey’s whether any of you lot saw the agreement and would never have agreed to it. Your union did on your behalf. And people here still wonder why RM has trouble with staff on an ongoing basis. Bunch of idiots!
    If you don’t like the job go and work somewhere else – there are 2m people who’d be happy to fill your poor tired shoes.

  39. Last postal strike my sales dropped 60%. I can not afford that this time as I now live off my ebay income. Perhaps one of the people who are supporting this strike would come over for a cup of tea and explain to my family why we have no money.

    It is selfish and short sighted. In every job I have ever done if someone didn’t enjoy the work they changed jobs.

    They need to grow up.

  40. Hooray

    The CWU have come up with a solution as to how I can manage ebays free post policy.

    Don’t post anything free post or otherwise – because it not going to get there anyway.

    Time to find the pasting table and return to car booting.

    PS. Is the recession over yet?

  41. #54 A large proportion of us here are in the same boat. Yesterday was the first day that the mail strikes seemed to have a high news profile – co-incidentally (or not) my sales nosedived.

    ‘No one wants to lose money’ – for the strikers, it is fairly straightforward – you lose a day’s pay, then back to work and everything is back to normal. For small businesses affected, it isn’t so straightforward. In 2007 the strikes finished in October – I would say that it was after Christmas before my business fully recovered from the after effects and denting of consumer confidence in mail order generally.

    Continued industrial action will drive more large customers away, like QVC which has just switched to an all courier operation. It may well also be the last straw for some smaller businesses, which have no other viable alternative to Royal Mail. It’s hard enough running a business in a recession, without this deliberate sabotage.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of this dispute, I fail to see how reducing your customer base can be any good for the long term future of Royal Mail.

    I am also puzzled about why an agreement was signed in 2007, only to be apparently reneged on by the CWU now. I contacted CWU through their website a few weeks ago – as they didn’t bother to reply, I remain unenlightened.

  42. GOOD & BAD

    A week ago. after waiting for our failed colletion (again) it seemed the only way was to post over 169 pkts in the local PO (very sorry to all that stood in the que behind us!!!!)

    We, in 2007 did what everyone else did & kept posting items in between strike days. This was a vaste mistake, as RM seemed to proess what was being posted on non strike days, & shoved the rest into warehouses, to be sorted ‘later’. Our INR claims went through the roof & cost us a fortune.
    This time we only post on non strike days, hopefully so it gets through.

    We sell in the £1-5 catagory, where asking/insisting on buyers paying reorded delivery is simply not on & would suicide as a businee. But Paypal will alweays stand for the buyer & we loose out completely.
    RM should learn to stand by it’s contratual terms (although their sub T&Cs probaly counteract anything that is said at the top)
    ie; delivery the post on time & don’t ‘loose’ anything.

    The claims proceedure is crap, & is probaly intended as such. You cannot claim the postage you paid, even though the RM did not carry out the service it was contracted to do & you paid for. many sellers are ‘offered a fraction’ of what an item sells for (is worth). We effectively do twice the work for 1/2 the gain & in many cases a loss.

    Following on from the para’ above (later part). we ask who’s to blame for this mess, once again. Maybe therein lies the answer, be it managers or staff.
    ie: contract/fraction of value/twice as much work/half the gain/loss.
    Makes you wonder how different we are as sellers to the hum drum of whats going on in RM.

    All postal price rose significantly last year & the service went donwards, making RM (postal services) profitable again. We are the payers & the loosers over and above of all the grips of the postal workers & management.

    Personnally I do beleive the move to the competetion based system forced through by this Goverment was badly flawed , by way that the big players UKpost etc’, actually just collect their bulk mail & big slice of the profits, then dump their mail into the national system for RM to sort out, is simple a silly joke & shows corporate UK at it’s very worse.
    Had the goverment introduced a proper alternative, that all could use, then competion would stop alot of this mess happening now.

    Our collection sacks must not weigh more than 11 klg (=11 bags of suger), so how an the RM insist on postal workers carrying more than this at one time??. The logic appears to be different from the reality.

    The parties in these disputes need to sort this out once & for all. The public do not understand most of whats going on & in 2007 we even had buyers who said they didn’t even know a postal strike was on (god knows what planet they live on).
    Sellers will always get the blame (mainly unfairly) from buyers, as it is us their contract is with. That same contract, we have with the buyer depends on our contract with the RM, which is not being honoured.

    Just one more thing, (read para’ 1 above).
    Whilst we were doing this, a posty walked in the post office & dumped at least 3 large bundles (which seemed at least 1/2 of his backsack) of undeliveried mail into the collect sacks.
    He said, when asked by staff what he was doing, ” oh couldn’t deliver them & the sorting office is now closed, so we have to do this”. The PO staff couldn’t say much!! and allowed it. The posty left & within 3-4 minutes 2 other postmen came in & did the same thing?????????????????.
    There was a whole large sack of undelivered mail, that would now go back to the sorting office to be resorted & redeliveried (many days late).

    Who’s fault is all this a combination of grap, me thinks, no knows, we are certainly, the only real loosers will be us.

    It is this Goverments fault, for not insisting on a proper alternative & letting some organisations (Ukmail, etc’) get away from what a proper delivery service should have been. Instead of sucking up to big organizations & offering them cheap post
    NOT that they would have bid for the franchise, if they had, had to do the deliveries themselves!!!!……….

  43. @ # 59

    Our INR claims went through the roof & cost us a fortune.

    You mean your buyers didn’t pay you back once the items arrived? Or did RM just “lose” all the packages you sent during the strikes?

  44. #60

    ” You mean your buyers didn’t pay you back once the items arrived? Or did RM just “lose” all the packages you sent during the strikes?”

    What do you think!!!!………………..No, to the 1st part & Yes, to the 2nd part (although not ‘all’, otherwise there wouldn’t be a business know’).

  45. Gerry007 wrote

    He said, when asked by staff what he was doing, ” oh couldn’t deliver them & the sorting office is now closed, so we have to do this”. The PO staff couldn’t say much!! and allowed it. The posty left & within 3-4 minutes 2 other postmen came in & did the same thing?????????????????.
    There was a whole large sack of undelivered mail, that would now go back to the sorting office to be resorted & redeliveried (many days late).

    In our office we are paid to 3.30 but our deliver office ridiculously shuts at 3. We are not allowed to take the mail home with us as its a sackable offense, so when it comes to 3.30 we have 2 choices if we still have mail to deliver

    Either

    1) we can continue doing the job working over our time for nothing

    or

    2) we can cut off our duty.

    If the mail delivery office is shut we are told to put the mail back via the postal system either through the postbox or a post office.

    There is a few duties in our office where the postman have had to cut off their duty everyday due to not being able to finish in time. The obvious solution would be to take some of the load of this duty & put it on another lighter duty. However the management rather not know, so these customers have to suffer with a poor service everyday.

    Ps you are so right about the likes of UK post & you are also correct about the warehouses that RM used during strikes in 2007. RM decided to filter stuff through these warehouses bit by bit while stuff that got posted on non strike days got through quicker.

  46. #62

    Yes. but this was @ 4.30pm, so many could still have been delivered.

    There seemed to be a bit of colusion going on between the posties. Even the PO staff were surprized, and I’d never seen it before.

    They may have been temps that ould not be bothered to do the job!!!!!!.

  47. I can understand that TracyL, you are bound to feel that way, from your perspective and the effect it has on your business. I am also annoyed with them to some extent as I do still sell bits and pieces and will be affected similarly. However, I do see their point (even if I don’t entirely agree with it) and can understand the whys and wherefores of their actions. They genuinely feel they have little alternative, as strike action is the only thing that makes RM management take any notice of the staff.

    Steve

  48. TracyL & all

    Just remember ONLY post items on NON strike days, otherwise they may end up in a warehouse & get deliveried later.

  49. #62

    There are many people that have to do a bit of work in their own time. The days when a bell went and everyone dropped everything and went home have gone for most people.

    Most offices in the UK will have people working after 5pm.

  50. #68 Good point, as you say the time when workers do the minimum required and go home has gone. Nowadays, rightly or wrongly when you’re in employment you have to go that extra mile for a number of reasons.

    For the postmen reading this, Royal Mail will not change it’s mind just because you strike. Get up, go to work and try to make Royal Mail great again instead of fighting it at every turn.

  51. #13 If they don’t like the job anymore why the heck don’t they just look for alternative employment?

    Sorry Chris, but that is an incredibly glib statement to make in the current climate.

    My contract came to an end in April, and I’m still looking for work.

    Even though the Royal Mail strike of 2007 badly damaged my then business, I still support ANY workers right to strike, whether or not I agree with the reasons for the it.

    It’s part of living in a democracy, if you don’t like it, there are marxist states that I’m sure would welcome you with open arms.
    (See glib statements are easy to make aren’t they?)

  52. Striking isn’t about being part of a democracy, in fact the exact opposite is true. By striking they are saying, listen to us or we won’t work.

    You accept that Royal Mail damaged your business but you still support their right to strike…Hmmm, still out of work, can’t think why.

  53. #73 Out of respect for Sue, I’ll not give the last part of your post the response it merits.

    But I’d advise you to not say such a thing to me in person.

    Anyway.

    Living in a democracy gives an individual a large degree of self determination, as long as they operate within societies laws.

    If the strike is lawful, which as far as I know, it is, then I support their right to withold their labour, whether or not I agree with the reasons for it.

  54. #13 If they don’t like the job anymore why the heck don’t they just look for alternative employment?

    Sorry Chris, but that is an incredibly glib statement to make in the current climate.

    Yes, exactly my point! Whilst the rest of the country is taking unpaid leave, being cut to four day weeks, losing overtime they’re lucky to have jobs but don’t seem the least bit grateful for them.

    As for being part of living in a democracy…. the US is more democratic than us (they don’t have a monarch or house of hereditary or life time peers so can vote whoever they like in and out every four years). It’s illegal for US postal workers to strike and it’s a job people not only want to do but fight tooth and nail to get the job in the first place. Gotta wonder why the Royal Mail isn’t the same

  55. #75 Hi Chris.

    Flipping the argument on its head, one thing I have noticed while job hunting is that organisations are using this ‘candidate rich’ climate for their own ends, ie hourly rates dropping, higher qualifications required etc.

    Is now not the time for employees to make themselves heard?

    I don’t know.

    One thing that I am aware of though is those that are for want of a better phrase ‘their own boss’ and have been for a while, are more likely to be out of touch with the expectations that large organisations put on their employees, and should reflect on that before jumping in with both feet with their opinions.

  56. #75 Have to be honest Mark, I know plenty of people in both large corporates and smaller companies and they’re all working harder than ever for less pay. It ain’t pretty out there and I really am glad I work for myself however tough that might be at times.

    I don’t know the answer but I do know that Royal Mail has problems, not least of which is it’s set up to deal with letters which is a declining market and it’s trying to gear up for parcels which is where most readers of TameBay’s interest starts and is the future.

    Fact is when there are very few people sending letters but a quarter of the country buying on eBay the typical delivery mailbag is changing. There’s no sticking with what worked for letters with the odd parcel when it won’t be long before it’s parcels with the odd letter. The postal deliver job has changed, now the delivery service (company and workers) needs to catch up and get ready for the next decade.

  57. #75

    It is supply and demand. When there was a shortage of quality staff and I was recruiting I had to increase the salary offered in order to secure them. I did not hear anyone saying ‘ is now not the time to make employers heard’.

  58. #78 Agreed.

    As an aside, I think the policy that some organisations have adopted will bite them on the backside in the not to distant future, but that is another debate 🙂

    I’m just offering an alternative opinion to the Daily Mail, pitchforks and torches view that some on here are advocating.

  59. board_surfer on August 11th, 2009 2:25 pm

    oddly, you never hear of employers going on strike.

    What a very strange and irrelevant comment to make.

  60. It’s illegal for US postal workers to strike and it’s a job people not only want to do but fight tooth and nail to get the job in the first place. Gotta wonder why the Royal Mail isn’t the same

    I’m not so sure that’s the case (you are correct about the illegality of striking). I’ve never spoken directly with any postal worker about their job satisfaction but a significant portion of postal carriers and people behind the desk at the Post Office (guessing 30%) seem like they didn’t like their job at all. Last time I called the postal service about a missing package the guy on the other end of the phone was screaming, asking me “what’s your problem?!” when all I was trying to do was verify my address with him. Of course this might be exactly like every job out there.

  61. Personally i get up at 5am and get home from work at 7ish (last night it was 8:30pm.) i get paid 20% less than this time last year, and work harder, for at least 2 hours more each day than i did, but am just grateful at the moment to actually have a job.

    I can walk 10 miles in 3 hours easily, and could walk it in 2 and a half if i got a move on a bit. I could certainly go quicker if i was actually walking all the time.

    In my old job (working in retail itself), i wore a pedometer for a day and it recorded 10 miles walked.

    I could also quite easily lift 11kg and carry it around on my back. Again i could certainly carry more if i was doing it all the time. Muscles do grow with use.

    My own personal opinion is that there are a lot of people out there with conditions the same as or worse than that of posties, and yet everyone else gets on with it, as they know that things are very tight in the current economic climate.

    /rant

  62. “Last time I called the postal service about a missing package the guy on the other end of the phone was screaming, asking me “what’s your problem?!” when all I was trying to do was verify my address with him”

    Replace ‘Postal service’ with ‘Paypal.’

  63. Strictly speaking, employers don’t go on strike. The equivalent of a strike by an employer is a lock out.

    Now, I’ll get my coat and crawl back into Dictionary Corner.

  64. #84 today i got up ay 9:30 ( had a lie in for my birthday)

    then drove 60 miless round trip to do a favour for a friend

    had lunch

    did a couple of hours work

    now I am sat on my bum thinking its much too warm to do much of anything

    and folk wonder why I love ebay 🙂

  65. some days I feel 84 .. LOL

    truth is i am but 48.

    thank you for the greetings

    now i’m sure there is cake around here somewhere…………………

  66. #73 Whatever, at the end of the day supporting something that damages you seems like a very stooopid thing to do.

  67. #91 Before you throw around words such as stoopid, you should read my post again.

    There is a world of difference between supporting the right to strike and supporting the strike itself.

  68. #87 just think how much you COULD be making on ebay if you worked as many hours as us 😉

  69. Really, well we’ll disagree on that one. There should be no right to strike, as has been said many times before and will be said many times again…

    …If you are unhappy in your job, at least devote your time to finding a new one and stop holding the country to ransom.

    Perhaps the postmen/women are so tired because they find it hard to sleep at night after all the damage these strikes cause our country.

  70. There should be no right to strike, as has been said many times before and will be said many times again…

    Why not?

    Should workers not be able to strike because

    New working practises that are unsafe?
    Changes in Terms & Conditions that are unreasonable, like telling you that your starting hours are now 2am?
    Being forced to opt out of the working time directive?

    Or countless other reasons that are totally unrelated to pay.

    Sorry to tell you*, but because you think that people should be unable to strike, it doesn’t make it right, or correct, but just selfish.

    Seriously Sue, you need to double check that your Mong Magnet isn’t turned up to 11.

    *Is not sorry at all.

  71. Saying “There should be no right to strike” is akin to saying you’re forced to work and it’s illegal to withdraw your labour. That plainly isn’t right – people should be able to choose whether or not to work.

    However it doesn’t always make it a sensible course of action and isn’t going to garner much sympathy from either the unemployed, the employed but jobs at risk, the employed but on reduced hours/pay or unpaid leave, nor from those working their proverbials off to try and keep their businesses going.

    The saddest thing of all is when you realise the CWU appear to call strikes on a biannual basis regardless of how good or bad things are going for the actual workers (and lets face it there’ll always be something to complain about if you really want to). It’s 2009 and there are widespread strikes, 2008 was pretty quiet but there were major strikes in 2007. 2006 wasn’t too bad but there were lots of strikes in 2005. Anyone spot the pattern emerging?

  72. #97 Yeah, some union leaders need a good slapping to remind them that they are there to protect their members interests, rather than push their own agendas.

  73. Yes, that’s right. There are laws to protect employees and laws to inhibit employers from taking the pi$$.

    You want to withdraw your labour, fine, don’t come back.

    I’m sorry but the old story of “we’re being forced to do this etc” is a load of old tosh. No-one is forcing you to do anything except a full days work that isn’t as easy as “it used to be”.

    Popular or not, don’t care.

  74. #80

    That logical…………….there’s no boss to listen to your arguments

    #84

    I suppose my only comments would be, yea I can walk 5 miles in 1 hour & indeed carry 11 klg, but would I want (or could !) do it every working day of my life????…..

    Generally, the omments by a postman above are the most damaging….that they (the posties) did not understand the agreements that their union made in 2007.
    The unions will, given the opurtunity call a strike & ‘demand’ the rethink, when in fact, they should have made very sure their members knew what they were agreeing in the 1st place (in 2007).
    Many of us would no doubt, like to renegate on some agreement we’ve made in the past if we could, but those would not cause the country to grind to a stand still.

    What Chris is saying @ 76 is the main point for the future.
    Maybe RM should be thinking about ‘self employed franchisees’ who run their own delivery vans, with teams** delivering Mail in/on their own franchise areas (after all it works for many types of businesses).

    **Just a thought, a mass increase in Pizza delivery bikes, but delivering the Mail…….god that would be quick, franchisees would have a contract to keep the mail in an oven, and it has to be deliveried whilst still hot, ha……………!!!!!…

  75. this is to all the people who say unions are rubbish .
    holidays
    mealbreaks
    pay rises
    health and saftey laws
    this is what workers have now.
    but years ago non of the above did not apply , it took alot of hard work for
    them workers years ago to get what we all enjoy so much.

  76. health and saftey laws?

    would that be the ones that stopped folk bowing and exiting rooms backwards when leaving a room with the queen in it?

    just how many accidents will that stop?? I mean just how many folk hurt themselves in those circumstances?

    Hard hats on building sites? most things that fall on folk on building site would kill you hat or no hat. Man Saved by Hard Hat when 6 tons of scaffolding falls on him is not a headline you are ever going to see.

    health and safety.. a world gone nuts.

  77. #102

    this is to all the people who say unions are rubbish .
    holidays
    mealbreaks
    pay rises
    health and saftey laws
    this is what workers have now.
    but years ago non of the above did not apply , it took alot of hard work for
    them workers years ago to get what we all enjoy so much.

    Response

    Perhaps you should also read para’ 10 of # 59 above & # 63

    99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999%
    of workers enjoy these anyway, without a union rep.

    Oh of course, Immigrants that get well below the national minimum wage (or get paid it, for jobs that would normally pay much higher) & the employers that price UK workers out of the market by paying less, should be union represented, but I don’t see you jumping to their defence.
    (Pop down to the Olympic site in ELondon for all your ‘new’ members, there’s plenty there).

    I have no objection to an employees’ rights, but at least tell them what their getting into & signing up to.

  78. Do not shoot the messenger but I hear there is a strike on Wednesday the 19th of August in the London area. Not sure about other areas I’m afraid but London is definitely out on this date.

    I know none of this is helping by telling you this & I promise I am not trying to antagonize anyone, but was hoping it may help in someway in giving you some kind of notice.

  79. board_surfer on August 11th, 2009 10:45 pm

    health and saftey laws?

    would that be the ones that stopped folk bowing and exiting rooms backwards when leaving a room with the queen in it?

    just how many accidents will that stop?? I mean just how many folk hurt themselves in those circumstances?

    Hard hats on building sites? most things that fall on folk on building site would kill you hat or no hat. Man Saved by Hard Hat when 6 tons of scaffolding falls on him is not a headline you are ever going to see.

    health and safety.. a world gone nuts.

    I’m going to state upfront that I’m a NEBOSH qualified Health & Safety Consultant. http://www.nebosh.org.uk

    What this post confirms without a shadow of doubt is just how ignorant you are on matters that you appear to have very little knowledge.

    Just as you jumped in with both feet with your opinion on the Postal Strike.

    I’d love a link about walking out of the room backwards, and the justification for it to stop because of H&S rules, I really would, otherwise I’ll call you out and say that you heard it from a bloke down the pub.

    As for hard hats, no they would not stop 6 ton of scaffolding from injuring people, and to link the two together is frankly ludicrous.

    They will however minimise the risk of serious injury should a brick, handtool or other item fall from height and strike someone.

    That’s why we make people wear them.

    Do you want to debate this further?

  80. Hadn’t seen the reports about walking backwards, as they all seem to eminate from the Daily Mail and Telegraph….

    But the report in the Mail says

    A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘There was no major decision taken about walking backwards.

    ‘The tradition just melted away because in most circumstances it wasn’t realistic in the modern working world.

    The other main thrust behind the article was the threat of being sued, if there ever was an incident.

    So it’s not Health and Safety laws that have initiated this change, but an acknowledgement that in the main the practise is out dated and a desire to protect the Royal Family from litigation.

    Which is sensible advice.

  81. #102

    holidays
    mealbreaks
    pay rises
    health and saftey laws
    this is what workers have now.
    but years ago non of the above did not apply , it took alot of hard work for
    them workers years ago to get what we all enjoy so much.

    Ignoring the typos and the double negative, I think that you’re having a laugh suggesting that it’s only because of the unions that workers get such things as mealbreaks and pay rises. You’re saying (or at the very least strongly implying) that if there were no unions, employers would remove lunch breaks, holidays, and stop pay rises etc. That’s complete rubbish.

    What you’re talking about was probably last relevant about 70 years ago, and has no relevance at all in todays world. Even the H+S part is largely irrelevant with the current ‘state knows best’ government. I wonder if you’ve ever stopped to objectively examine whether these days, most of what your union does is done to benefit itself and further it’s own agenda rather than working for the interests of the workers it claims to represent.

    I would go so far as to say that you’re trying to justify the existance of the unions to people who seem about 70/30 against them. Most workers are just trying to get the best conditions for themselves, and it’s almost a scandal that the top bosses in the unions seem to be using the workers for their own ends, to push their own agenda, without considering the workers themselves.

    Still, it could be worse. At least the boss of the CWU isn’t Bob Crow.

  82. I bet there are a few Postal Workers who wish they had Bob Crow as the leader of CWU.

  83. Really lazy reporting in the Telegraph piece Steve, it blazes H&S in the headline without ever really giving the reasons for it.

  84. We’re closing this thread now; it seems there is nothing useful to add to the discussion of the RM/CWU dispute.

    We would like to remind everyone again that TameBay has a comments policy, and specifically that posts attacking other commenters personally and posts intended solely to disrupt the conversation are not allowed.

    Please don’t make us act like Liveworld; it’s not fun, you know.

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