News is out that the Royal Mail Group CEO Simon Thompson told the CWU on Saturday that negotiations to find a settlement to the long running dispute on pay and change has a Monday deadline.
This comes after Royal Mail presented documents to the union on Saturday with a Monday deadline to agree to them. What happens if the two sides don’t reach an agreement and walk away from talks with ACAS is undoubtedly ongoing industrial action and an deepened bitter conflict between the two sides.
Millions of customers and thousands of businesses are relying on the postal service. 120,000 postal workers are desperate to protect their terms and conditions.
The next strikes are on Thursday – for the company to walk away from talks three days before that is reckless. We call on the government, media and all businesses to demand Royal Mail takes a serious attitude to these negotiations and matches the unions commitment to reach an agreement.– CWU Spokesperson
The CWU might have a point demanding Royal Mail takes a serious attitude to these negotiations as dropping an offer on the table and playing hardball is pretty serious. It suggests they simply want to break the Union and are happy to lose ever more money on a daily basis and permanently lose profitable parcel business to competitors rather than bend to the Union’s will.
Once they accept the Black Friday to Christmas peak is going to be a mega loss, the pressure is off the company as Royal Mail know that a long hard winter with continuous loss of pay from strike days will make industrial action ever more painful once January comes.
However it’s equally fair to suggest that the Union might need to get a little more serious and realise that Royal Mail is losing millions and finding more money to boost pay has to be coupled with reforms that customers want even if the Union don’t. It’s unrealistic to expect any business to operate a loss making division so there is some sense to the company refusing to use GLS profits to prop up Royal Mail.
Strikes are due to start this Cyber Thursday with disruption continuing right up to Christmas including no post on the 23rd or 24th (Christmas Eve).