CWU Letter to Branches calls for strike action ballot

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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.

CWU Grievances

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:

  1. Introduce their separation of larger parcels from mail centres , RDCs and circa 1000 delivery offices which will lead to thousands of jobs losses.
  2. 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.
  3. Royal Mail want to use PDA’s outdoor to rescouce and perform revisions.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. They want 20 thousand jobs losses with London and other cities with mostly full time jobs under the most attack.
  7. 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.
  8. They want 30 minute flexibility on every duty 6 days per week.
  9. 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

43 Responses

  1. in other words royal mail wish to have a sustainable profitable business with a secure future
    the unions want to live in the past no doubt their jobs will also be in the past,
    as are
    most mine workers as ship yard workers jobs

  2. Royal Mail has a very profitable business partly due to the years of negotiation between the CWU and RM. The CWU has its members interests as its primary concern and if those wishing to comment have ever worked for RM on anything other than a managers position they will understand totally the CWU’s stance.

  3. does the CWU not understand the very existence of articles like this simply chip away at Royal mails business.
    there will now be businesses that are now considering and looking at alternatives forming contingency plans , some will like what they find and change regardless

  4. Yeah let’s all roll over and do as we’re told like good little posties,let’s make sure Rico back gets a great bonus,for God’s sake don’t be seen to stand up for ourselfs my dad said there’s only one way to deal with bullies,fight if you have any pride.

  5. Royal Mail and the CWU came to an agreement. Now Royal Mail want to break that agreement. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to see who is the problem.

  6. People need to read between lines. Royal Mail were doing well. Along comes Back, he talks DOWN the company, so share price falls. Then HE buys thousands of shares at a cheap rate, then he starts going on about how worse we are, more than he thought. We are modernising. We are not reaching targets, because managers cut the workforce down to the bone. Quality suffers. You can’t have it both ways

  7. thank God for the alternatives to Royal Mail. Who are just as efficient (I have measured it over years) and will deliver my packages without threatening my small business. the more businesses migrate from Royal Mail the less effective these strikes become.

    Whether you are entitled to better conditions or not – don’t try to use my SME as leverage for something YOU want.

    Its pathetic that this point does not even seem to be considered by unions. It makes me angry, it makes most SME angry and you will not get our support. Other services are out there offering the same efficiency for a cheaper price.

  8. Let me tell you about our RM collection. My collection postman used to arrive 2 hours before the collection time and then sleep in his van until time.

    this went on for 5 years. every day including Saturdays. then Royal Mail stepped in and started to make cuts. he could no longer sleep half his shift. He was not happy. he thought he was entitled to his little nap.

    RM made the run more efficient and stopped this action. I am sure he will be in favour of the strike action.

  9. Royal mail is the biggest bullying company I have ever worked for there was an agreement with the union which the membership agreed to and Rico thinks he can just disregard he doesn’t realise how strong our union and membership is bring it on up the workers ?????

  10. Boris is going to sell the Royal Mail to the Americans that’s a big possibility the fact that the Tories have always had it in for CWU have been confronted on all sides of the argument and sadly along with the rest of the union’s if Brexit goes ahead all our worries and workers rights are down the pan.

  11. Give it a go Jim and then tell me how easy it is. The majority of new starters leave after a few weeks because they can’t take the work load or the bullying from managers. The business had an agreement with the cwu and are now ignoring it. The higher management are untrustworthy.

  12. Give it a go Jim and then tell me how easy it is. The majority of new starters leave after a few weeks because they can’t take the work load or the bullying from managers. The business had an agreement with the cwu and are now ignoring it. The higher management are untrustworthy.

  13. Don’t worry people , there is not a chance of a strike ,we work with too many think idiots now in Royal Mail who don’t know what Union means , they think they are supposed to be treated like dirt and told lies on a daily basis , I’ll be very surprised if it actually happens

  14. Try working in an environment where you are continually harrased and bullied continuously.People at the top on disgusting salaries, you just have to look at Amazon, zero contracts, zero meal reliefs,, going back to Victorian times in this country…

  15. Try employing people , dealing with theid issues ,then being responsible for their salary, libel for taxes pensions, insurance ,business rates energy bills .transport bills, local and
    national government regulations
    Rents and leases
    Not to mention actually selling or making ends meet, etcetc etc
    Then you might know what pressure in the workplace is

  16. Unfortunately the only time strike action makes an impact is when it’s due to be a prosperous time for the business, so sadly SMEs suffer but we have to fight for our conditions just like any other employee wants. Just like the BA pilots are doing in the SUMMER holidays, hit the company hard in its busiest period. No point in striking when it’s quiet! So sorry for all those who feel we are hurting their business, but I’m not working or living for you, I’m doing it for me and I want my job security and conditions

  17. Ever since this Rico Black guy turned up all I have seen is him talk down RMG. Cost myself a shareholder a small fortune. I would like to see him gone now.
    When I bought into RMG a few years ago it seemed like a no brainer with the growth in online shopping.
    The company just does not seem to evolve, still the poor service from a business point of view and let’s be honest they have an unfair monopoly I cannot get better rates so have no choice but to use them.
    Automation will cost jobs that is a fact of life for many employees (Amazon will eventually become so automated they will not need that massive slave labour zero hours contract workforce).
    Am all for decent working conditions and rights, but we are living in a time of massive corporate greed and inequality for all workers everywhere, where people like Rico are interested only in their bonus, much like the lunatic in charge at eBay.

    All short term profits and all profits before people this is the world we live in, and the route cause of all the problems in the world right now.

    If Black has made agreements he should agree with them, but the postal workers also have a wake up an see the world has moved on and much of their work will become automated.

    In an ideal world we could find a happy medium before we reach the tipping point, but everyone has only their own interests at heart in today’s world

  18. The individual posties we deal with are generally hard-working, pleasant people. But it infuriates me that the internal wranglings of the union and management are inflicted on small businesses in a way calculated to do us the maximum harm at an already stressful time of year.

    I see it as inevitable that Royal Mail either won’t exist, or will be a totally different business within 5 years. Unlike previous strikes, this time there is a competitor who will play the disruption up for maximum benefit to themselves; Amazon Logistics. They may not be quite up to the standard yet, but have made it pretty obvious they intend to virtually replace national carriers within a very short timescale.

    If businesses have the choice of a supplier who causes them incredible stress and losses every couple of Christmasses, or one which is marginally less efficient but more focused, many will choose the latter. Add in increasing automation and the replacement of humans by self-driving vehicles delivering direct to local parcel lockers, and it’ll be bye-bye Royal Mail within 5 years.

  19. @ Alan Paterson You really should not take it too personally, the postmen have nothing against you.

    I rely on the Royal Mail and yes believe me when I tell you I used to get very “upset” when somebody interfered with my mail and the fear of strike when you have just put a mailshot of 200,000 costing £50,000 in the system was not a good day, until they announced the vote was for them not to strike, by the smallest of margins.

    @The Postmen amongst us: You have to do what you have to do as they say. I have just signed up to Amazon Seller Fulfilled Prime. Amazon are even offering me discounts to use their own delivery service to get me on board but I have chosen using RM24 Tracked instead, but should my business suffer by a strike then I have to put my business first and once a change is in place it is very hard to get me back.

    Hermes don’t seem to want my business as they could not be bothered to sign me up after giving me a quote, the Customer Service was terrible even from the area manager, which also put me off.

    Good luck with whatever you decide but try and make it a week I am on holiday.

  20. Ok we get that there are some current posties who both dislike their current employer and insist on staying in the job.

    Its the holding to ransom of other people’s livelihoods that tends to annoy us business owners. Strike action impacts our ability to earn, our ability to make money to pay our bills and our staff.

    So don’t be surprised when business owners shift the work to your competitors due to your unions actions. Any job losses caused by reduction in work take up with the union. Daresay they can arrange strikes over loss of contracts caused by strikes…

    Royal Mail used to have virtual monopoly on deliveries. Luckily that’s changed and people, and businesses, have more choice now.


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