There’s trouble brewing between Royal Mail and the CWU which could lead to industrial action this Christmas. A CWU letter to branches has gone out setting out plans for over 100,000 Royal Mail staff to be balloted for possible strike action.
A Royal Mail strike is the last thing that ecommerce merchants want. Too many are forced to use Royal Mail for shipping small lightweight items and many more opt for Royal Mail due to convenience and price. At Christmas, if Royal Mail don’t perform due to strike action, the regular courier alternatives simply don’t have the capacity to deliver every parcel that Royal Mail would have delivered.
The CWU are accusing Royal Mail on multiple fronts across the Royal Mail and Parcelforce businesses, saying that after just a year Rico Back isn’t honouring the Four Pillars Agreement. The CWU say that Royal Mail want to want to review and remove the legal guarantees Posties got when Royal Mail was privatised and are refusing to commit to protecting the universal service obligation which OfCom intend to review next year.
On the plus side, the CWU have indicated that they are open to further negotiation with the possible of mediation, which settled the grievances without strike action last time around.
The CWU assert that Royal Mail’s decision to break the Agenda for Growth by deciding to set up a separate profit and loss company for parcelforce from October and TUPE parcelforce members into this company is just the start of Rico Back’s strategy to shrink the company.
The CWU assert that Royal Mail want to:
- Introduce their separation of larger parcels from mail centres , RDCs and circa 1000 delivery offices which will lead to thousands of jobs losses.
- In addition in the circa 300 LAT units they want to collapse one walk in every six to become a late driver delivering larger parcels and their walk will be absorbed by the remaining five duties.
- Royal Mail want to use PDA’s outdoor to rescouce and perform revisions.
- Royal Mail want to roll out further Automated Hours Data Capture ( automating signing in and out )and to reduce overtime and they have suggested linking it to pay roll.
- Royal Mail want to roll out Resource Scheduler which creates different duty sets and tasks for each office as it is linked to traffic , PSP and PDA’s actuals. At the moment Royal Mail and the company who supply the software still have not managed to get the system to work. However if they do it is a game changer and designed to remove the CWU from involvement in resourcing or revisions.
- They want 20 thousand jobs losses with London and other cities with mostly full time jobs under the most attack.
- They want each office to improve their efficiency by around 5 percent in order for them to agree the next hour off the shorter working week.
- They want 30 minute flexibility on every duty 6 days per week.
- Royal Mail’s obsession of reducing costs is seeing more offices being attacked and causing walks outs. We are seeing a rise in conduct cases and medical retirements and cases against CWUs reps. Royal Mail seem to not want to improve the culture in the workplace.
Royal Mail response to CWU Letter to Branches
“We have not received formal notification of a ballot from CWU. We are disappointed that they have set out a ballot timetable while discussions are ongoing.
We are committed to open and constructive engagement with the CWU. We all want a successful and sustainable company that provides good quality jobs, fairness in workloads, and continues delivering the Universal Service.”
– Shane O’Riordain, Royal Mail