Royal Mail CWU workers vote to strike (but want to support the country)

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Postal Workers who are CWU members have today delivered a massive 94.5% YES vote to strike. The vote return of 63.4% of those balloted, for the third time in less than three years, easily met the relatively new Trade Union rules and represents a massive mandate to strike.

However, the CWU say that recognising the enormity of the Coronavirus outbreak want to be seen as an additional emergency service to connect the country. They are asking the Royal Mail to prioritise the health and safety of our posties and are willing to to set aside the vote to strike and differences with Royal Mail to put the nation’s interests first if Royal Mail also agree to pause changes. The CWU will be writing to the government to try put additional pressure on the Royal Mail.

CWU press release on vote to strike results

“CWU members in Royal Mail have today beaten the anti-union laws for the third time in less than three years delivering a massive 94.5% YES vote on a return of 63.4%
This is despite CWU members, like the rest of the UK being focused on the impact of the coronavirus crisis. This represents a huge mandate both in support of their union but also in opposition to Royal Mail’s attacks on jobs and services and its plan to turn The Royal Mail into just another glorified parcels carrier.
However, the CWU recognises that since we embarked on this ballot just two weeks ago, the growing health crisis is changing the language of priorities for our members and the country.
In recognition of the fact that Royal Mail Group is the only service that connects every address in this country via its universal service, something our dispute is seeking to protect, we have made a proposal to the company based on putting the interests of the nation first.
We want the public we serve, the government and shareholders to know that we want to set aside our differences with Royal Mail and subject to prioritising the health and safety of our members, we want postal workers to become an additional emergency service in the UK. We believe this could really help the country in these unprecedented times.
Postal workers are embedded in every community in the UK. They are trusted figures. They are part of the social fabric of society. It’s time to utilise the companies unrivalled infrastructure and daily reach across every City, Town, village and rural community, remembering that for a lot of people the only person they will see every day will be their local postal worker.
With this in mind we have called for Royal Mail Group to step back from their attacks in the workplace, imposing un-agreed change and destroying the very morale and vocational sense of purpose the nation now needs and work with the union to enact our proposal.
If we can agree the introduction of the very best health and safety provisions and equipment that can guarantee our members safety, they will become an additional emergency service.
Postal workers can play a crucial role in to keep everyone in this country connected & informed, delivering medical aid, checking on the elderly and vulnerable, delivering local to local services and supporting people working from home. We could also assist with foodbank collections and the delivery of food parcels to those most in need.
In any national emergency in our history and in our day to day existence the universal postal service has played a vital role, these unprecedented events remind us all of that postal workers always come through and will stand ready to serve the nation again but Royal Mail Group must play their part by agreeing our proposal and ensuring the very best standards of safety and support to its employees.
We will be writing to the Prime Minister to gain the governments support for this approach. In the meantime, we will meet with the company tomorrow to move this proposal forward.
Finally, we want to say thank you to our members for their unbelievable support and loyalty.”

– Dave Ward, General Secretary and Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary (Postal), CWU

8 Responses

  1. CWU have some brass neck. Perhaps they would like to ask us Posties if we want to be volunteered as an additional emergency service!
    They have been absent so far in protecting posties on the front line that’s for sure.

  2. Unbelievable that such a statement can be issued without someone doing spell-check and punctuation – so embarrassing. I’m used to the sheets they give us in the office being riddled with errors, but a national statement should be thoroughly checked.

  3. I work in RMG HQ and what I can tell you is that Royal Mail will be willing to do what they can for all employees – and is already the fairest courier service in the UK. In recent years RMG has suffered due to these threats for industrial action and an intolerance to change along with technology – whilst companies such as Amazon fly ahead along with DPD etc (due to no change or union resistance). Take the deal that RMG offers and call off the strike if you still want RMG to be around for years to come. RMG is no longer the too big to fail company and the company is expected to make a loss with share prices plummeting to 137p due to strike fears. What I can state is that RMG has plans to improve the company but these will take several years, till then take the pledge until the company establishes itself in a much stronger situation through innovation.

  4. Being a post person has gone from being one of the best jobs to one of the worst, managers are under strike pressure to meet targets and cuts year on year which in turn is passed onto the posties along with the managers attitude. Work load has increased, duty sizes have increased and without any extra time !! and when you cant complete within your finish time you get the second load of attitude from the managers. WHERE was the CWU when these changes were made ?

  5. The CWU’s claim that postal workers can set aside their opposition to Royal Mail in pursuit of a united national fight against coronavirus is false and reactionary. Crises of this scale do not suppress class antagonisms. They bring them to a new peak of intensity.

    By promising service to “the nation,” the CWU bureaucracy is lining up behind Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s viciously right-wing Tory party in an escalating conflict with postal workers and the entire working class.

    On the day the CWU released its press statement, the Tory government announced “unlimited funds” for business while leaving working people to fend for themselves. There was no commitment to guaranteeing jobs and wages, to close non-essential production on full wages, to implement automatic testing for infection, or to provide basic protection such as hand sanitisers and masks to those forced to work. All that is on offer is less than £100 a week sick pay for those forced to self-isolate and nothing for those in the gig economy.


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