eBay implore CWU & Royal Mail to strike a deal

eBay implore CWU & Royal Mail to strike a deal

eBay have published a note in national newspapers imploring the CWU and Royal Mail to strike a deal and break the impasse which is damaging small businesses across the UK. The note which we reproduce below was jointly signed by

  • Murray Lambell, VP & General Manager, eBay UK
  • Michelle Ovens, Founder, Small Business Britain
  • Martin McTague, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

eBay strike a deal and break the impasse note

The UK is one of the most advanced e-commerce markets in the world. Small businesses in particular have started and scaled their retail operations thanks to a sophisticated online economy which gives shoppers what they need, when they need it.

But right now in the midst of peak trading the ongoing postal strikes are causing further enormous damage to these businesses, who rely on an efficient mail service for so much of their trade. These strikes are delivering a body blow to UK small businesses, many of whom are already fighting to survive.

While we understand and respect the perspectives on both sides, more must be done to support small businesses caught in the crosshairs, and especially as these strikes are taking place during the most important trading period of the year.

For our part, we as organisations who represent the interests of small businesses, are doing everything we can to support online sellers through the peak trading season. But the most important thing right now is to keep Britain trading.

We implore Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union to find a way through the impasse to agree a deal.

So many small businesses depend on Royal Mail and its dedicated workforce. Let’s not let them down.

Murray Lambell also wrote in City AM pointing out that the strikes will crush retail and small businesses again calling for the two sides to strike a deal. Murray bluntly pointed out that cost of living crisis will be made significantly worse for many by the postal strikes and their crushing effect on small businesses.

Royal Mail have tabled a take it or leave it final offer but the CWU say Posties will still walk out, as part of the longstanding dispute that has recently seen workers take a unanimous no confidence vote in company CEO Simon Thompson at thousands of workplace gate meetings this week.

The latest demands by the CWU in order to strike a deal are:

  • An improved 18 month pay deal including back pay for all workers;
  • A guarantee of no compulsory redundancies;
  • The restoration of previously agreed processes for voluntary redundancies;
  • A joint review of all agreements and the relationship between the CWU and Royal Mail Group;
  • Re-establishing the right of CWU reps to be fully involved and able to negotiate on local revisions;
  • An alternative business strategy that would see Royal Mail Group use its competitive advantage to grow as a company, instead of becoming a gig economy parcel employer.

eBay are working with alternative delivery services, have removed Royal Mail as the first choice of shipping option and putting protections in place for sellers to ensure they accounts aren’t devastated by the impact of late deliveries.

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"EBAY " putting protections in place for sellers to ensure they accounts aren’t devastated by the impact of late deliveries." is like Russia giving Ukraine anti missile protection

r • 24th November 2022 • Reply to r

@r. Most of my friends doing ebay woke up yesterday morning to find their late delivery metric at 0.0% - ebay having removed defects for late delivery over the past couple of months. And thats a bad thing? Bad things are bad, but every positive that ebay initiates - you think is bad also. Everything is bad according to "r". Sucks being you.

Alan Paterson • 25th November 2022 • Reply to Alan Paterson

hear yea! hear yea! Ebay giveth and ebay taketh away give thanks and praise!

r • 25th November 2022 • Reply to r

Have had dozens of 'late' deliveries removed from metrics over past few months by ebay. Its protection of a sort.

Mac • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Mac

For all of ebays waving the delivery metric stick at sellers Amazons prime blows ebay away if you need quick reliable delivery

R • 26th November 2022 • Reply to R

Yes can be useful. Order Saturday evening delivery Sunday noon. When there are delays they can be considerable. Amazon FBA item ordered on Sunday last week, royal mail delivered it today. Amazon don't try and set their delivery capacity to customer orders, they cover a large chunk of the orders and farm out over capacity deliveries to other delivery services.

Mac • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Mac

Agree with most of that, but seeing how ebay have piped up to say it, they could be doing much more to protect sellers than they are. 1) Adjust delivery dates automatically, as they have done during previous strikes. That's not happened this time. Instead, I can see impossible delivery dates on days when Royal Mail aren't even working. 2) Stop saying RM48 has a possibility of next day delivery in the estimates. It is so extremely rare this happens, that giving an estimate of 1-2 days, or even 1-3 days, is misleading, if not dishonest. 3) Don't let buyers open INR cases so quickly. It's a hassle we don't need and often a waste of time for them, as the order tends to turn up a day or 2 after they open the case. Just give them a date they cannot open a case by and a message explaining why.

Gav • 24th November 2022 • Reply to Gav

@ Gav. I agree with what you are saying. The delivery dates were fixed on ebay yesterday (Friday) morning. Prior to that the wrong delivery dates were given to buyers BUT ebay will protect against any defects. You are correct, RM 48 has never arrived next day from my experience - in fact it should be impossible to arrive next day. I have been banging that drum for several years to ebay. It all seems to go back to the definition of an "acceptance scan" but did you also know that often the buyer and seller are displayed DIFFERENT DATES. On the subject of INR cases, it has been the situation for years that a buyer cannot open a case until AFTER the delivery date. Off course if the delivery date is wrong thats a problem but a problem that ebay will protect you against. As a later post down page points out - at least ebay are attempting to give protection, unlike other platforms.

Alan Paterson • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Alan Paterson

And yet Ebay continue to over-promise on delivery estimates to buyers. Sorry but for me there is NO alternative to Royal Mail, myself and thousands of other small businesses rely on large letter post. Paying extra on every large letter sized package to send by courier would make the business model unviable. But Murray is right about one thing - this is going to kill the self-employed. In some cases literally.

Mike • 24th November 2022 • Reply to Mike

At least ebay give protection. Amazon have suspended my account due to it dropping below delivery rate of 95%. This despite a message claiming they are helping sellers. Bullsh×t. They want everyone to use FBA. Control freaks.

Stigmas • 25th November 2022 • Reply to Stigmas

@ Mike, i have a few friends that rely on large letter post. They have simply extended the dispatch time on ebay which does not seem to have effected conversion rate for their items. The extended delivery date allows them to continue to use 2nd class large letter at £1.05 and still have the item delivered on time (providing ebay remember to display the amended delivery dates which they seemed to forget earlier in the week). I have friends selling coat buttons, memory cards and shoe laces. All seem to be operating fine with no drop with a 3 day dispatch time. Off course this is on ebay, Amazon is a different story.

Alan Paterson • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Alan Paterson

Ebay could be honest about delivery times. Would you still get orders? Or would buyers go to sites who do promise quick delivery?

Mac • 26th November 2022 • Reply to Mac

Murray, great you are standing up for small businesses. Maybe have a look at some of your policies and site which are not great for small businesses. To start with do away with all the metrics and defects that ebay come up with to punish sellers. As a small business I have not been impacted yet but the treat of it constantly hanging over my head just pushes me further away from the site and want to grow my business elsewhere. Let businesses manage their own delivery time frame as generally they know their business best. You have to wonder how much time, effort and money it costs ebay to manage all the defect systems they come up with, call centres to manage the unhappy sellers being hit with defects.

Rob • 28th November 2022 • Reply to Rob

They simply don't care Rob, they're happy to let the small sellers sink and reward the handful of mega sellers. Not content with suffocating small businesses on the high street they now want to stop you doing business online. If I was not already established then I would NOT try starting a business now.

Mike • 28th November 2022 • Reply to Mike

Yep ebay need to decide what they need to manipulate the market Started with feedback ,then stars ,now metrics free shipping fee discounts,,promoted listings, promoted standard ,promoted express, This reminds us of one of those ancient listings with years of added terms and conditions

R • 29th November 2022 • Reply to R