The CWU will be announcing the results of a second Royal Mail strike ballot today, Wednesday the 17th of August. You can watch live at 4pm in the video stream above.
This will be the second announcement for the CWU in as many months, with a previous Royal Mail strike ballot result seeing workers vote to strike on an unprecedented level (97.6% on a 77% turnout) to take strike action.
The first set of strikes are taking place starting next Friday and taking place on the 26th and 31st August and the 8th and 9thSeptember. These are the result of the Royal Mail strike ballot on pay – the CWU have rejected a 2% pay rise, bumped to 5.5% if changes in working are accepted. The CWU have absolutely no intention of mixing demands for a pay rise to keep pay in line with the rising cost of living. 2% is way off the current level of inflation which hit 10% last month so there’s a long way between the offer and what might be acceptable to the Union.
The second Royal Mail strike ballot to be announced this afternoon and which will almost certainly come with a second set of strike dates is all about terms and conditions for postal workers. Royal Mail want to deliver the post much later in the day – in the afternoon and evenings – in order to cater for small businesses wanting to meet consumer demands and offer next day delivery.
Currently there simply aren’t enough hours between a parcel being shipped late in the evening and it’s arrival and sorting in Delivery Offices for next day delivery. That’s why your Royal Mail collection is probably mid to late afternoon and why only the largest businesses can negotiate mid to late evening collections. If Posties start their rounds later in the day parcels can be collected later in the day and still make it onto the next day’s delivery.
And, on top of that Royal Mail want to start delivering parcels seven days a week, which most carriers already do.
The CWU point out that this may in Winter months mean Posties are out delivering after dark (just like all the couriers do) and they don’t like the idea of working late in the day. In truth, many Posties love their job because they can get up early, get the job done and be back home having tea with their families as the children get home from school – that won’t be possible if you’re still plodding around your round and don’t finish until 6 or 7pm at night.
Expect the announcement today to be fairly measured in tone but absolutely brutal in content. The CWU aren’t in the mood for pulling punches and are mobilising the entire union movement to come together in a ‘Summer of Solidarity’, which for you probably translates to a ‘Summer, Autumn and Winter of misery’ as you try to keep your business running.