CityLink, Royal Mail, Amazon: Strike Updates

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There’s bad news as far as ecommerce businesses are concerned – the Unions seem to have decided to flex their muscles and you’ll need to keep an eye on who’s affected and how it could impact your business.


A seven day strike which was due to start on Tuesday 24th September has narrowly been averted. “The assault on pay and conditions by the new, private equity owners of City Link has sparked a surge in recruitment and hundreds of workers are now actively engaged in the fight back at depots across the country” is the reason for the strike according to Bob Crow of the RMT Union.

Don’t think it won’t happen though, it’s called off due to some sub-contractors being included in the ballot but it’s only a temporary delay. Bob Crow has told union members “We will be re-balloting members shortly so that should it be necessary to take industrial action it will be at the company’s busiest time, the Christmas period”.

Thanks to Tamebay reader Abbas for bringing CityLink strikes to our attention

Royal Mail

Unite and the CWU are ganging up on Royal Mail.


Royal Mail say that they are “very disappointed that the CWU has confirmed that it is holding a national industrial action ballot of its members”. They added that “Any industrial action, or the possibility of disruption, is damaging to our customers, and our business, especially in the run up to Christmas, our busiest time. It therefore has a direct bearing on our ability to sustain good quality, long-term employment for our people”.

The CWU are telling their members to vote yes to striking saying tha a “Yes vote will focus both sides on reaching a legally binding agreement and secure your future”. A vote to strike doesn’t mean that strikes will happen, but history says they almost certainly will.


A large majority of Royal Mail managers belong to Unite and they say that “proposals put forward by the Post Office and Royal Mail to make changes to their pension arrangements are unacceptable”. Any Unite action would be pretty devastating if it came at the same time as CWU action as it’s normally the managers who go out delivering mail when posties are on strike.


Last week Amazon workers in the German cities of Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig were on strike wanting a collective bargaining agreement. Basically they want to be paid the higher wages of mail-order retailers, but Amazon employ them as logistics workers. Amazon say that workers are well paid above the average compared with German industry norms for logistics.


There are a ton of other strikes in Education and Councils around the country that shouldn’t affect ecommerce too much. However it’s not looking good in the next three months in the run up to Christmas, so be prepared and get your contingency plans in place.

5 Responses

  1. I find it astonishing that anybody should be surprised that strikes are being threatened at this time of year. Christmas is only 3 months away. Just about every year we get threats of strikes in the 3 months leading up to Christmas.

    Will any of these strikes happen? Almost certainly some will. But the intention is to apply pressure to the bosses because they know that it will be a disaster if the Unions do call out the workers during the run up to Christmas.

    Lets not forget that there is another very serious threat to Christmas this year as it has been a threat to every Christmas for centuries. That is the weather and it is in many ways the same as the Unions.

    So let us all do whatever we can to plan for every eventuality and cross our fingers(any anything else that will cross) that Christmas 2013 will be relatively trouble free.

  2. At least I won’t need to give the postmen a bottle this Christmas.

    They are idiots.

  3. CityLink to strike for 7 days? Not that anyone will notice a difference in service!

    Seem to remember not long ago company was effectively bust under Rentokill ownership and workers should be thankful they still have jobs and private equity company is willing to make changes to avoid problems of past. Typical Unions!!


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