Postal industrial action paused to 20th Jan

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If you’re wondering what’s happened to the Royal Mail strikes, the company is in a period of negotiation with the CWU. From previous strikes, it’s not unusual for the postal industrial action to stop as soon as Christmas has passed. The impact on consumers significantly reduces and hardly anyone cares if their mail is late.

That’s not to say the postal industrial action isn’t still having significant impact. Letters posted in December or earlier are still arriving in letterboxes and some streets are still only receiving parcels with letters still taking a back seat and even those posted this year still being delivered later or stuck in transit.

Speaking on the postal industrial action, the CWU say they’ve seen significant steps to resolve the dispute from Royal Mail

Firstly, we saw a significant move from the company’s so-called “best and final offer” with their statement on no compulsory redundancies. This was subsequently confirmed in writing to the union just before the Christmas break. This is a positive development. However, for the company to honour this commitment, they must also confirm that it changes their plans, particularly around future resourcing models. We now want to test and build upon this in further negotiations.

– Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU

The CWU and Royal Mail have agreed to refresh talks for a period of intensive negotiations from the 9th to 20th January. As part of this the company and the union have committed to the following:

  • RMG has agreed to immediately remove the agency staff used to cover the Christmas peak and strike action.
  • RMG has accepted that the CWU will engage members in our campaign to win a re-ballot, while negotiations continue
  • RMG has reinstated the industrial relations framework for all revision activity. This is a significant development which gives us the ability to negotiate at local level, rather than managerial imposition of change. However, there remains a major issue over the national guidelines for these revisions and this will be discussed as the first item in our talks on Monday.
  • RMG has committed to reviewing all cases put forward by the CWU that have arisen from the dispute relating to suspensions, conduct charges and dismissals. The CWU has made clear that we will never accept these unfair attacks on our members and representatives and a resolution to this must be found over the next couple of weeks.
  • The CWU has agreed not to take any strike action during the 9th and 20th of January.

Don’t thing that this is definitely the end of the postal industrial action however, the Union need to undertake another ballot for further strikes and will be building momentum to get another mandate for strike action.

While recognising that some progress has been made, given the unacceptable actions of the company over the last few months, we do not take anything for granted and we know there are major differences between us on a raft of key issues.

Notwithstanding the above, the union’s Postal Executive believe it is the right time to see if talks can succeed and for both parties to jointly try to change the dynamic of our disputes.

While these talks continue, it is crucial for the CWU to be able to focus on delivering another massive turnout and Yes vote in our re-ballot campaign. The union is legally required to re-ballot our members to take further industrial action if needed and the timetable will be announced shortly.

The outcome of this ballot will be critical to us achieving an agreement and therefore it must be the main focus for all CWU representatives and members in the coming weeks.

– Dave Ward, General Secretary, CWU

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