It’s been two weeks today since Royal Mail and the CWU revealed that the mediators report regarding the UK Postal dispute had been received and disclosed the recommendations within it. So what happens now?
Our Royal Mail and CWU Mediation Process Timeline showed a week for Royal Mail and the CWU to meet followed by two weeks of further discussion so at the most generous time scale the clock runs out on the 27th of December. We’re not expecting the CWU to walk out and call strikes on that date.
The CWU’s latest statement indicates that progress is still being made but equally they’re still threatening strikes if their is a suspicion of things stalling.
“Further talks with the business have continued this week on Pay and the Four Pillars campaign and we continue to closely monitor progress. We have reminded Royal Mail Group that we are still in dispute and we will not hesitate to serve notice for industrial action if we suspect, at any moment, that we are losing impetus or that progressive talks have stalled or are going backwards.”
– CWU Bulletin – 15th December 2017
What’s really holding things up and isn’t going to please the CWU is the pension situation. It’s one of their four key pillars that they’ve been fighting for so you’d think it was good news, but the ‘collective defined contribution’ scheme suggested by the mediator would need government legislation. This means Royal Mail and the CWU have to join forces and lobby parliament together to speed up the parliamentary process. It’s a somewhat bizarre turn of affairs for the two opposing sides in the bitter UK Postal dispute to suddenly be on the same side vs the government, but that’s the current status quo.
With the best will in the world one can’t imagine pension legislation being passed in a few months and of course the CWU’s mandate to strike only lasted six months before they need to ballot their members again. It’s unlikely we’ll hear much at all until some point in the New Year, but the likelihood of strikes has considerably abated. One might even imagine that the CWU will hold the threat of strikes to keep Royal Mail on track implementing the Mediator’s recommendations and consider reballoting members for a full on strike in the run up to Christmas next year if talks are derailed at this late stage.