CWU could call Royal Mail strike ballot Wednesday this week

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Last week Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward warned that unless Royal Mail significantly shifted their position on pensions, a shorter working week, a redesign of the company’s pipeline and the extension of current agreements then a ballot on strike action will be held early in September.

This is bad news for all concerned, but it appears unlikely that if a ballot takes place that there won’t be enough votes from the 110,000 posties in the CWU for strikes to take place.

Royal Mail face a number of issues as the carry on their modenisation program and face the reality of running a business instead of effectively being a government department.

On pensions, it’s pretty obvious that hardly anyone is in a final salary pension scheme these days. Most employees are on fixed contribution schemes as they’re more affordable and yes, they do offer less security in retirement.

Pay is an interesting one as Dave Ward points out that whilst Posties are denied massive pay rises Royal Mail has paid out £770m in dividends to private shareholders. That’s the result of being a publicly traded company – share holders only invest if they see a return and plenty of other workers in both the public and private sector haven’t had a big pay rise in years either.

The working week is a crucial change for Royal Mail. Times are changing and ever more consumers are demanding next day delivery of items purchased ever later in the day. There was once a time that First Class post meant before breakfast and Second Class post was delivered around lunch time. Today, with many out at work, it doesn’t really matter what time the post arrives but what does matter is what time posties start on their rounds. The later in the day that rounds start the easier it is for Royal Mail to accept next day parcel deliveries and get them to their destination the following day.

Royal Mail need to offer businesses later cut of times for collections and it still takes time for these packages to whizz around the country. Sadly for posties, who have habitually started work early in the day and been home by early afternoon, this does mean that their working hours are likely to change.

Perhaps the easiest for Royal Mail and the Unions to agree on would be an extension to the current legal agreements, but that will only come after all other issues are settled.

Strike Ballot Timetable

It is expected that the CWU Executive will meet on Tuesday the 5th of September and it’s hard to see a circumstances that means they won’t enact their strike ballot timetable. The good news is that no strikes will be called before October, the bad news is that it’s highly likely that the CWU will go for maximum disruption and call strikes around Black Friday and the run up to Christmas.

  • 16th August 2017: Letters went out for CWU Membership Check
  • 30th August 2017: Information Returned
  • 5th September 2017: CWU Executive Meet
  • 6th September 2017: Issue Notification
  • 14th September 2017: Ballot Opens
  • 3rd October 2017: Ballot Closes
  • 3rd October 2017: Result Announced

In all this there are two things worth remembering. First is that we all rely on the Royal Mail and our posties do a fantastic job. The second is that posties, whilst carrying a huge responsibility for guarding our mail, they are largely what might be termed unskilled workers and they do in reality enjoy a pretty decent salary and benefits. No one would deny that they might deserve more, but strikes will damage their reputation and the Royal Mails business.

However much online seller and offline businesses may support posties strike action, once they decide to move their parcels to another carrier they may never return to Royal Mail. They may discover that myHermes or Pass My Parcel or Yodel or any of dozens of other carriers can fill the gap and they may decide that the upheaval of moving back to Royal Mail simply isn’t worth the hassle.

Less parcels means less money, less investment and ultimately a poorer future for posties and a degraded service for the rest of the country.

42 Responses

  1. “Dividends to private shareholders” we get ours every 6 months, however at £3.85 a share today it no longer is the sound investment it was, I would have missed a few of those if they had just got on with bringing RMG into the 21st century.
    Anyway we always knew RMG was a bit of a dinosaur and their pace of modernisation is a bit like the speed of a diplodocus. We think it is time for Moya to go and pretty much the rest of the senior team.
    The Posties actually get paid a lot more than a Amazon or Hermes Driver and have more secure working hours. However just like everyone else they are having their working conditions depleted in battle to the bottom Britain. There is the ethical point of view when looking at deliveries in my opinion, I want to know my orders are being delivered by someone who is being paid and decent wage for one.

    I actually think the posties do a great job, and are badly let down by the management and backroom staff. Just come of the phone about 30mins ago to the business team “honest they are awful”, they guy sounded stoned on the other end.
    RMG needs fresh leadership someone who can deal with legacy issues and help RMG evolve to deal with the modern “must have” world we live in. Right now Amazon are not sitting about they are a Tyrannasaurus Rex eating big chunks out of the the big Fat Diplodocus at RMG and eBay.
    Reason I invested money in RMG I thought with the advent of online shopping they would fly, they are actually along with eBay in huge decline. Issue is we can live without eBay but we cannot without RMG. Anyway strikes will do RMG eBay and the rest of the markets NO good and will only benefit Amazon long term who I think are going to clean up this peak and leave the rest licking their wounds.

  2. do amazon/ dpd/ hermes/ or any other courier deliver mail . door to door advertising and very large and small parcels all at the same time in all weathers and with bags on there backs i dont think so so that is where the diffrence in pay is

  3. Royal mail and many other companies are in a constant race to the bottom the only people to profit from this are the directors When is this country going to wake up and realise we have a serious problem how long do people think it will take before Amazon or Hermes increase their prices if there is no Royal Mail and as with most other privatisation how long before customer service is rock bottom and the customer amounts to no more than a number on a sheet of paper. Most people know their Postie some have been doing the same job for years and are on first name terms with their customers there is more to being a postman than just delivering a letter I know Postmen who often check on elderly customers and may be the only person they see all day. My own Postman when out on his round came across a young child who had escaped early one morning because he knew his customers he was able to return that child safely to his family who knows what would have happened if he had not been around for that child. If the postman are going on strike it will be the very last thing they want to do and will have been left with no other option as with most strikes.

  4. The big question is what Ebay will do about giving sellers defects for late RM delivery if strikes go ahead.

    The margin is wafer thin and it would not take many extra late deliveries to push you below the top rate threshhold.

    Buyers are not aware when they hit the yes/no on-time delivery button that the seller gets hit. Most probably think they’re rating the postal service.

    Sure, if action is prolonged Ebay may well suspend late delivery defects, but past performance suggests it will be too little, too late.

    Our business is not particularly Xmas oriented, so I may take an extended break from late Nov. and re-open the Ebay shop in the New Year.

  5. There is easily enough posties who will be voting yes for strike action and yes pay should rise and stop withe the hermies and amozon crap you really need to get your facts right it will be a massive yes for strike action

  6. Why do people compare postmen to other courier drivers it’s a complete joke! The indoor sorting and amount of miles we walk carrying heavy bags is unreal a courier driver wouldn’t last two days, a decent pension was always given as for the physical work we do the pay is not great,postmen will not last 30/40 years in the job it’s just to physical now not like when I started 17 years ago.

  7. Let’s strike they are just bullying and harrasing us employees id love 2 see moyra do a 5 hr dly.

  8. Where does Tamebay get it’s info from. The Royal Mail final salary pension scheme was closed in 2008.

  9. Royal mail don’t care about the staff,just the shares,a really bad company to work for.im looking out as soon as I can after 12 years.this last year has been terrible.hate going into work every morning this was not the case 2 years ago.

  10. Try working for them 23 years!! Gone are the days when you had 350/450 drops on your own walk, which took about 3 hours to do. Now you have to pair up in a van and between you do about 1500, which takes 5 hours and more. You’re always been told that they will not put anymore walks in, yet more and more houses are built, you can’t claim overtime if you don’t tell them before you go out. Sometimes they will not let you cliam overtime at all. Managers bully people. I’ve know women be there a few months in tears because what managers have said to them. It not the business i remember when i first started. I started as a summer temp and enjoyed my job that much i always helped the full timers (for nothing) after i finished my work. I hate the place now!!

  11. Having worked for RM for 28 years, I have to agree with others, this last year has been the worst and every year gets worse. Part time staff are given full time deliveries to do, and some are owed over 30 hrs overtime a week, they will never get paid. Reserve staff cover holidays and do different deliveries each week, they are told they will get 1 Saturday off in 4, if possible, most manages read this as never. More staff of with stress this year then any other. There was over 9 vacancies this summer, which were expected to be delivered at no extra cost, most weeks mail doesn’t even leave the office, as there is not the staff or hours to deliver it, managers always say on their daily reports that the office is cleared? Managers bullying staff and harassing them to work past their finishing times, overtime being forced on to people, Holidays being used to manipulate staff into working their days off, RM do not care about there employees or customers, it’s all about making money, and managers hitting their targets so they get paid their bonus. RM is not a good company to work for any more.

  12. Hi

    Postmen refuse to move with the times. Competition has made logistics a more complicated market. You can’t sit back and hark on about the good old days. The good old days don’t exist anymore. DPD, Hermes etc are all waiting to take away business from you guys.

    You either allow modernisation to happen (which should mean thousands of you lot getting fired and being replaced by machines in sorting offices, along with possibly thousands of non-jobs of people I see sitting around in sorting offices) or find out that slowly all your customers have moved over to other couriers.

    Postmen do a good job – but you guys shouldn’t be protected from market forces. Upgrade your skills if you want to get paid more or don’t like what you do. The rest of us have to do it this way.

  13. I have to agree with comments I’ve done 33yrs in Royal Mail and never seen it so bad deliveries not going out people not being paid for the hours they have worked if Moya Green and her mob think it’s such a wonderful job she needs to look at it from our side. I or many other postman don’t want to strike but if that what it takes to bring these people to their senses then so be it.

  14. I’ve worked for Royal Mail for 27 years and the last couple of years has been horrendous working for them.gone are the days when postmen/women could complete their rounds on time or even talk to their customers.management are constantly asking us to do more and more,ie when new builds come up and the postman/woman whose walk is closest are expected to do this as well when their walk has already been tested.constant bullying by managers,especially to new recruits who aren’t as clued up as someone who,s been in the job years just so they can get their bonuses. As for lapsing,WHAT A JOKE, we can,t even complete our own walks,as is DOOR TO DOOR , sometimes we have 6 or even more to deliver as well as everything else.Managers now are just ROBOTS who you can,t reason with.And as far as comparing our job with Hermes or other delivery firms,they only deliver parcels,not mail, door to door and aren,t standing in an office for hours sorting it all out before we even get out on delivery.let Moya Green and all the other fat cats pocketing bonuses at our expense try our job for a week and see how they get on, I,d bet they,d soon agree with our grievances.ROLL ONTHE STRIKES.

  15. Hi to all posties, most of you do a great job and deliver many letters each day in sometime demanding conditions. It is not stress full and you get to walk and get paid for it. I have to agree with many others already who have written in that you do an unskilled job.. Either do it or get out. You get well paid for a short day with little stress and ability to be out in the fresh air. There are many others who would love your jobs. Appreciate what you have and if you do not like it retrain and do something else. This is what I have had to do through my own career. I do not get overtime, pension, allowances, bonuses etc. but if I did not like it I moved on. I wish those that like to work for their wage all the best. For the rest of you move on.

  16. It is unskilled yes but people who post crap about I would love to do your job bla bla you ain’t got a clue or stepped foot in a office

  17. Andy you have been watching to many postman pat DVDs we would all love a round like his !! But seriously if you have never done the job be careful what you say about it . I have been a postman for 29 years and for 25 of these years have enjoyed it most of the time but since privatisation it has become a desperate place to work as other have said it is cut cut cut do more more more for less!!!! If a full time worker leave their job becomes parttime at the office that I work there are nearly as many partimes as full timers . Yes if we do have to strike we will lose some work but we have the right to defend what we believe in ,a good standard of living. The middle managers have lost touch in what the job is about all they are interested in is figures on paper they need to get round some of the offices and speak to there staff that do the job and see how the job has changed!,you Seen to think that we work a short day how wrong you are them days have long gone if you think that you could do the job apply to join oh yes just remember it will only be part time !!!

  18. In defence of the Posties, one of my best friends is a postman. He does say they not treated very well by the management (we used to work together, he is no lazy bones and where we worked he said it was like paradise). He does say the managers are pure awful.
    He does love the physical aspect of his job and being outdoor (and he does it in the north of Scotland so he is in the real outdoors)
    I think Green is destroying the Royal Mail however and it is time for her and her mob to go as you say. Profits before people.
    Am a shareholder and a business customer , but am more interested in RMG getting with the times (she has had long enough now). As a business customer the service from your business team is dreadful, honest I would fire the lot the way they speak to us, it has gone from being pretty good to downright awful in the last two years.
    As far as pensions etc go, so many companies have a pension pot they simply cannot afford, and most people in the “private sector” are working in pretty poor working conditions these days without any bonus or pension so you will find very little sympathy am afraid.
    Trust me I understand the woes it is just a sign of our times am afraid. Poor employers all about. Unless it effects them people do not care they all live in a bubble these days.
    I do believe a lot of posties were handed some sweet share deals also.
    I also know the posties and sort staff do do a fantastic job, we talk to our crew all the time. (ohh and they get nice big tips still at Christmas), you are let down by the management and backroom staff however.

    If you strike you strike, it will effect us, but at the end of the day you are driving another nail into your own business as businesses like ours are so reliant on a Secure postal system, we need to keep trading we have no choice we do not trade we do not eat, we cannot strike. So what can we do we send stock into Amazon, we do not want to but have no choice.
    Anyway I hope you get some sort of result from your action, but from what I see strikes don’t really help anyone.
    Get rid of Green we and get someone who can take RMG forward we would be happy with.

  19. The office I work in is shocking far to much work and not enough staff been like this for about 3 years,people always working through there breaks and never getting appreciated for it becomes the normal working day. We have business customers ripping us off for years on collections would hate to know how much money RMG have lost with revenue doing nothing about up until now,staff caring more about the job other than clueless mangers that are a waste of time and only care about customer complaints when they are losing millions around the country that’s where a lot of the profits are going believe me I see this daily. Regarding Hermes,amazon,dpd,and other courier companies who like to leave parcels on your doorstep for terry tea leaf to whip away they tried the last two Christmas periods in the city I deliver in and they failed on a massive scale with we ended up delivering the volume of parcels they couldn’t handle they don’t threaten RMG just like whistle/TNT tried but failed,bring on the strike action.

  20. No one wants to strike,but if it is an attack on pensions,shorter working week and terms and conditions,then posties have to take a stand.
    Where will it end?
    If Royal Mail carry on attacking our pensions terms and conditions,then it really is a race to the bottom.
    In another 3 years we will be fighting again with zero hours and minimum wages.
    Why should we have to work to survive so these shareholders can get richer but making us work on the breadline.
    Posties have to take a stand and fight for a decent wage and pension.
    Posties work hard in all weathers,and we are the only company that deliver 15 bags of mail and do parcels aswell.

  21. I am appalled at some of the posties attitude above implying that we – sellers – don’t know what we are talking about. Posting is part of our livelihoods and most of us have been working with Royal Mail for years. Your attitude needs adjustment. The people who are using the service often see the bigger picture.

  22. The strike is not just pensions but four pillars

    They want RM to work 40 hour week
    brings redundancies
    They don’t what to secure you future
    brings contract out. self employed .franchise. zero hour contractors
    They want to split parcel force away from RM
    brings easily to sell both dodes

  23. You are only damaging your own company, your own livelihoods and making your future even more insecure.

    Perhaps Royal Mail would not be making these cuts if the business was more profitable, if they were carrying more parcels.

    Why are they not carrying more parcels? because sellers flocked to your competitors the last time/times there was a strike. Everyone I know (and i do a lot of networking) has switched to a courier competitor and kept their royal mail account purely for the items the courier cannot carry. This has caused immeasurable damage to Royal Mail over the years.

    But correct me if I’m wrong……..thats your intention……is it not? To damage your employer so as they will yield and give you conditions that may not be financially viable at the moment. You are aware of the recession? When a country goes into a recession everyone needs to knuckle down and make sacrifices to get out of it. its for the good of the country.

    I be honest, and forgive me if i am sounding blunt and rude – i just dont get this attitude at all. Your actions will only serve to weaken Royal Mail further.

    But remember sellers get a vote to………i will continue to “vote” by giving the majority of my parcels to the couriers who seem to want my business and don’t make me a casualty at peak periods over a fight i should not even be involved in.

  24. Agree with Alan.
    Couriers already get some stuff that years ago Royal Mail would have had. Strikes just mean more passed to the couriers.
    Who will probably not be daft enough to strike.

    How many staff will Royal Mail need this time next year if 10 percent of its work shifts elsewhere?
    Can send large letter stuff through amazon logistics, parcels via Hermes easily enough. APC also can be good for certain goods.

  25. Allegedly, Royal Mail do not want to compromise on this dispute.
    If they push us out on strike then when we come back they have the perfect excuse to blame all the companies problems on the staff.
    they will then attack terms and conditions ,pay ,pensions ,as was the intent anyway so the savings can be pushed to the share holders who demand ever increasing profits.
    This is only ever achieved in a privatized company at the sufferance of the staff.
    We had the start on the world with The Royal Mail, so sad we have been let down by our government and bosses who have not had the vision to make us a world leader. warm regards a very sad 28 year service postie.

  26. These are my personal opinions only and my comments are my alleged thoughts on how I see the situation from my perspective.
    warm regards mark ref previous article.

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