CWU Postal Strikes look increasingly unlikely for 2018

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We’ve been adding up the numbers according to our estimated Royal Mail and CWU Mediation Process Timeline and whichever way we add up the weeks there’s nothing stopping the CWU from now calling postal strikes should they wish to.

So far as we can tell, the legal restrictions imposed by the mediation agreement ran out on or around the 27th of December and the CWU have their mandate for strikes from the ballot which took place at the beginning of October.

However there are a number of mitigating circumstances which could make it very unlikely that postal strikes will happen before the ballot validity runs out – strikes have to be held within 6 months which means if there is no industrial action by March a new CWU ballot would be required.

Most importantly Christmas has been and gone. Up until 2009, the CWU called postal strikes ever two years but always in the run up to Christmas. It’s the time of year when the public are most concerned about their post and frankly calling strikes in January when all most people are expecting are their credit card bills isn’t going to have the same emotional response as cancelling Christmas when the presents don’t arrive.

The other interesting wrinkle is the mediators recommendation that the CWU and Royal Mail join forces to lobby parliament for legislation to allow a ‘collective defined contribution’ pension scheme which currently wouldn’t be allowed in the UK. This appears to be a compromise that both the CWU and Royal Mail could sign up to, so suddenly the two adversaries are on the same side.

Strikes could of course still take place, the CWU have said “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”.

On balance however, we’re optimistic that we’ll get through the first quarter of the year without any disruption to the UK’s postal service.

36 Responses

  1. Good to hear but the damage has already been done. Almost all the sellers I network with have switched to companies like Hermes over Christmas. Many of these businesses won’t even consider going back to Royal Mail out of principle. Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.

  2. Alan Paterson,

    If someone attempted to attack your company by attacking your earnings, your pension, your “guarantees” in contracts with your customers, you would also want to protect your business and fight back.

    The Postal Workers Union, Communication Workers Union, held 18 months of negotiation to prevent the ballot for the strike. Therefore, there were 2 choices, accept the changes to current and future earnings which would cost people thousands of pounds per year, which would have been handed over to Shareholders and be under incessant attack every year OR stand up and protect the Terms and Conditions and force the business to negotiate.

    This is not about unacceptable demands from the Union, it is about protecting negotiated terms and conditions and ensuring decent employment standards for working people, not allowing the race to the bottom, ‘the Gig economy’.

    Without Trade Unions, working people won’t have a say. It is not about using businesses as leverage to get our own way, it is about protecting what we have.

  3. I think he work for hermes after that comment. We are just trying to get what we were promised

  4. Well said Carl. As annoying & inconvenient as they can be at times we should always support the unions.

    Hermes may be cheaper but wait until one of their guys is ill & your parcels are not picked up or delivered on time. I booked a pick up on Friday for Saturday…waited in all day…nobody came. Re booked for Monday again no show….can’t book for collection today so now I have to wait until Tomorrow. And I am in London!

    RM are my first choice for large letters & small packets. Otherwise it’s UPS.

    Hermes are not as reliable as most other couriers due to their business model. Lots of them are teenagers who don’t go in on Monday due to their hangovers. This is why Hermes are cheap.

    Royal Mail do a great job most of the time.

  5. You have completely missed my point. I didnt say not to fight for what you believe to be unjust – just dont use my bloody business to do it.

    Almost every SME that I know have came away from Royal Mail and are currently using your competitors. Has cost Royal Mail a fortune…….but i suppose that was the aim.

    Read my point first before “going off on one”. I am all for supporting people fighting for they believe to be “right” but using my business as leverage is just plain wrong. If you cant see the collateral damage that your actions cause then you are in a “bubble”.

    Anyway i am sure my “new” (actually I have been using Hermes for years) carriers wont go on strike, or even threaten to go on strike lol. I am not saying they dont have other issues but they dont turn round and intentionally try to stuff up my business at a peak period.

  6. Alan Paterson the world isn’t all about money and business,it really grinds my gears when people are used as pawns in the game to make people rich,the world is a very sad place at the moment with a lot of horrible people about.I don’t work for any of these companies either ,people strike because they feel let down,used,undervalued and like most people these days underpaid. I’m not in any union either but any man or women willing to strike for what they believe in has my full support. so maybe alan sit back and think for a few minutes is a human being worth more than money,selfishness is such a horrible trait.

  7. I may stand corrected by Mr P for this (or someone else), but I thought the strike was all about workers rights, pay and conditions, so I currently fail to see how it has anything to do with “Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.”???????

  8. Mr P, I have every right (the same as you do), to post a relevant comment on any blog post I like. Perhaps, instead of telling me that YOU think I shouldn’t be posting comments on here, you could perhaps take the time to point me in the right direction? If it doesn’t take up too much of your time that is? Bearing in mind, that you’ve taken time out of your OWN day, to post a comment here.

  9. I would love to be able to “educate” but we need to assume at least a bit of knowledge or insight on the subject.

    I do take your point though and you are correct – I did assume that folk knew how the workers and CWU were deliberately choosing a time to cause maximum disruption and therefore maximum attention to their cause.

    Its small businesses like myself who would normally suffer this strategy if it were not for alternatives like Hermes (I use Hermes as an example only because I have chosen them as an alternative and they are working out reasonable well for me with no threats of strikes etc).

  10. I work for royal mail you wanna see our so called competitors bringing all mail to us because they cannot cope silly mr p

  11. Mr P,
    “the workers and CWU were deliberately choosing a time to cause maximum disruption and therefore maximum attention to their cause”

    Not saying you’re wrong, but do you have concrete proof of that?
    I’d also point out, that if the workers have a genuine grievance, you’d think they’d want the maximum attention in order to achieve the best for their case, would you not?

    “I use Hermes as an example only because I have chosen them as an alternative and they are working out reasonable well for me with no threats of strikes etc”

    How little you appear to know! Watch out for potential changes in the next couple of months or so, is all I’m going to say!

  12. You know Mr P, I find it quite funny the references you have made about the Hermes delivery firm:

    “Almost all the sellers I network with have switched to companies like Hermes over Christmas. Many of these businesses won’t even consider going back to Royal Mail out of principle. Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.”

    Hermes are one of the worst courier firms out there, for the way they treat their staff (especially the self-employed ones, or should I say bogus self-employed). You refer to postmen trying to use businesses like yours as leverage to get their own way, but have you considered courier firms themselves, who exploit THEIR own staff, for their own ends?

    Oh, and Sam wasn’t ‘name calling’, he just referred to you as ‘silly’. That’s NOT name calling, it’s doing the same thing that you have been doing on here, by calling someone an ‘idiot’ was it?

  13. We didn’t vote to strike likely it was a turnout of about 80% of the membership with a yes vote of nearly 90% that in itself says alot we voted yes to protect our pensions to protect the service please know the facts before spouting rubbish

  14. MR P 5000 pounds a week, small fish, a domestic customer for royal mail ,if you know royal mail big business always comes first your probably better off sticking with the very small delivery company of hermes as your parcels will always be bottom of the pile with royal mail.Nobody cares about small business ,doesn’t feel nice does it when you know people don’t actually care 🙁

  15. get real posties
    listen to those who keep you in a job
    you can swing your willies as much as you like alternatives are available

  16. Darren
    For every big business there are 100’s of small and medium bussinesses, large ones have cheaper rates than small/medium so make less profit!.
    Could you also explain how royal mail but big business first?

    I also use hermes for some of my parcels as rm have max length of 90cm, hermes will take much large parcels and cheaper with better loss/damage compenstion.

  17. Mr P just because you get a call centre call to get your business back doesn’t mean they care i get calls to come back to different insurance companies every year. 1000,s of 5000,s makes a lot of money,what i was trying to say in a delivery office big companies like amazon will always get delivered as priority,they can afford to lose you but not multi million pound ones. As an SME i do admire you but don’t kid yourself that Royal Mail care and come to that hermes or the rest of them probably don’t either. You may look after your customers but the bigger the company gets the less they care about the small man and more about the man spending the most and that is fact and how the world works today. Back on topic of the postal strike the posties probably dont care about you or your business they are more worried about their own jobs ,pay and working conditions,so i can assure you there is 120,000 workers not thinking about you,so stop your keyboard antics go off to hermes and get over it.

  18. Your are coming on well with sarcasm. Works for me, couldn’t have put it better.

    It’s a bit shocking. This dude Darren seems to work for RM . If you read his posts he is describing (first hand) what happens in the delivery office . If this is the case this is a shocking illustration of how postman attack their own employer. He is repeatedly trying to convince you that RM don’t care. Now whether that’s true or not it is pathetic that an employee would attack his employer like that. If it were my business I would be looking at ways of firing him lol. Many postman seem to be hell bent in biting the hand that feeds them . Many show absolutely no loyalty to their employer .

  19. Hi Mr P lovely bit of writing ,i think ill pass on the offer of a job ,you sound like the type of employer to avoid,your probably working 12 hours a day because you spend most of your days on the internet pretending to know the thoughts of strikers. And Ross your half way there i have worked for delivery companies before not royal mail thou but i have friends that do,at the moment i work for a small engineering company,i have come to realise working for small and big you are always just a number to help the ceo achieve his dreams of being wealthy and successful,nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t take advantage of the people helping you get there,and i’m afraid that happens more often these days as greed takes over. I did see a program the other day of a small business bucking the trend and all his employees were paid £10 an hour ,all had 6 weeks holiday,all had their birthday off and even paid for family days out,and would you believe they all loved working there and worked hard for him and they all shared in the success,sadly this rarely happens.On the Royal Mail my friend who actually works there and has first hand knowledge describes it as the amazon model where they drive you into the ground and anyone who questions it they try to sack them,so yes i am with the strikers and Ross you sound like one of those managers.So i’ll always support the people who are being downtrodden in life i just hope you pair aren’t those type who think paying a wage entitles you to abuse a fellow human being,

  20. Alan Paterson ,do you do any work at all,you seem to be on this blog all the time.i wish us posties have time on our hands like you,get a real job and stop complaining about people who work a lot harder than you.SARCASM at its best.

  21. As for Ross k, just another ignorant individual who seems to know how every worker in the world should act when their livelihoods are at say Darren works for Royal Mail,but you sound like you work for Royal Mail management talking about firing people.Thank god we still have unions to protect workers rights,because with people like you in charge unemployment would quadruple overnight.As for saying we have no loyalty to our employer,it is because we are constantly having our jobs destroyed by greedy underhand management whom line their own pockets with bonuses while trying to grind their workforce into the ground.royal mailDONT CARE about their workforce,only about shareholders who I think you sound like and Alan p need to head to the nearest desert island where your comments can’t be heard.I eagerly wait for your clever remarks and witty replies,pair of comedians(in your own heads).

  22. Alan as usual your on here to insult everyone and make them angry with your ridiculous posts.

    You can’t be that clever if you think Hermes is a decent postal service when they are one of the worst.

    And before you slam me for not knowing anything about this subject please know that we send out 2000+ parcels a day out with Royal Mail.

    Do everyone a favour and keep your silly posts in your head and leave them off the keyboard.


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