Tomorrow (6th September) the Communication Workers Union will serve notice on Royal Mail regarding the union’s intention to ballot its members for industrial action.
The dispute relates to the employment, standard of living and retirement security of its postal members and the future strategic direction of the Royal Mail Group.
Commenting on the decision, Terry Pullinger, CWU deputy general secretary (postal) said:
“Talks have been taking place since April 2016, but the sense of shared purpose has drifted as privatisation has evolved.
Quite frankly, three years or more into privatisation, we are seeing its promises shattered as the company has deserted the mutual interest approach to one of minimising cost and maximizing shareholder return. This has led to actual and intended attacks on our members’ pensions, terms and conditions and ways of working."
He continued, explianing who the Union was fighting for:
“The conventional wisdom of more insecure employment models, inadequate DC pension arrangements and gig economy labour practices are influencing the company’s strategic thinking, which is in direct conflict to the agreements we have in place.
Our dispute is not only about protecting our members but also protecting a great public service and national institution – the Royal Mail Group – which should never have been privatised."
In closiing he said:
“This is not a decision taken lightly and we are very disappointed it has reached this stage. However, we are committed to seeking an agreement, remain open for talks and hope that common sense prevails over the coming weeks and that a settlement emerges that avoids any dispute and gets the company back on track with a joint vision for the future.”
Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary said:
"Postal workers are under relentless pressure to work faster, harder and cheaper. This has nothing to do with driving growth and innovation, it’s all about the tired old thinking of privatisation and asset striping. When hundreds of millions of pounds are being paid out every year to hedge funds, as Royal Mail plans to slash workers’ pension entitlements and deny them a pay rise, there is something fundamentally wrong with the business model.
The CWU will take whatever steps are necessary to protect and enhance our members’ terms and conditions and change the direction of the company in the interest of customers and the service.”
Source: CWU / Carl Webb