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CWU announce another 3 day postal strike

By Chris Dawson October 22, 2009 - 7:23 pm

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) has announced another three days’ worth of strikes, to begin next Thursday, 29th October. The announcement comes as the union begins national strike action for today and tomorrow, action condemned as “reckless and unjustified” by Royal Mail. Mark Higson, Royal Mail Managing Director, said:

It’s now clear that the union leaders who were in the negotiations could not get the support of their own executive. It would seem that their negotiating team led by Dave Ward has not been able to get their National Executive to approve the words that we agreed with the union on Tuesday. My door is open and my phone is on and I am urging them again today to meet me so that we can all sign that agreement, get the strikes stopped and give us some peace in which we can get on with delivering Christmas for our customers.

The CWU countered both that the letter sent to them by Mr Higson was “substantively different to the form of words achieved through negotiations so far”, and that “the form of words do not constitute a final agreement.” Union leader Dave Ward called on Lord Mandelson to meet both sides at conciliation service ACAS, though the business secretary commented that “I’m not sure that my intervening would be welcome by both sides.”

A survey by Sky News found that 62% of those who responded did not support the postal workers in their dispute with management, with only 30% supporting the decision to strike.

  • Kevin A
    10 years ago

    Well, that’s just great…These posties are killing my business. Hardly any sales today and as we sell(amongst other things) Fancy Dress, it looks like our halloween sales are done for now.

    I wish the monopoly would be broken on this farce of a service or make it illegal for the posties to strike or bring in the army!

    Bring back hanging – Yeah, that might do it πŸ˜‰

    • Norman
      10 years ago

      Kevin, no violence related posts please. Read the comments policy. πŸ˜†

    • postie
      10 years ago

      it’s not the posties fault, the management and the likes of Adam Crozier are to blame for ruining a perfectly good postal service. Please don’t blame the postie, they don’t want to strike but have been forced in to a corner

    • Postie 1
      10 years ago

      Totally agree!!! Don’t blame the postie.
      We don’t want to strike.
      After the last strikes in 2007- I knew this would happen.

      TO MANY CHIEFS NOT ENOUGH INDIANS!!!

      Question is Adam Crozier, the rest of the royal mail chiefs that topped up their pension at the last strikes and our fabulous government, Who helped with destroying our banks, How will long will it take them to run Royal Mail into the ground?

      If Royal Mail and the Government had any interest in resolving this problem and making Royal Mail a success they would not be sitting back losing a majority of their business, allowing these strike to go ahead.

      As for the changes they are planning, YES we are all for it but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to point out that Royal Mails plans will never work!

    • Postman Manchester
      10 years ago

      What a fool. Sure you think Royal Mail are losing you sales and to blame for lack of business.
      Maybe its because of your fake goods. Remember Posties pay tax, unlike yourself. Criminal

    • 10 years ago

      Accusing someone of selling counterfeit goods and not paying tax is a serious allegation which you may wish to withdraw. Plenty of people commenting on TameBay pay many times the amount of tax a postie would pay on their wages.

      As for selling counterfeits… don’t make me laugh – just how much do you know about the businesses you’re accusing of illegal practices?

      Whilst you’re welcome to comment, you are not welcome to accuse others of breaking the law, especially in a totally unfounded manner with no evidence.

    • 10 years ago

      This comment just seems typical of the fact base behind the strategy of the strike. The Posties who support it really do have no idea. It’s all predicated on RM being indispensable and therefore it will not be allowed to fail. Think on. Look at the state of our Government. You are being set up to fail and then Mandy will sell off what’s left and line his pockets with the dosh. And you are making it easy for them.

    • Richard
      10 years ago

      Typical, when They have no sensible answer to hard working people and can offer no justification to disrupting their business they resort to childish insults.

    • Jimbo
      10 years ago

      Not sure what is worse that or comments like “punch a postman” or “there’s lorry on the M25 with your name on it”. πŸ˜€

      I personally feel no need to alienate the people who are responsible for delivering the goods that I sell.

      PS: I think eBay has got a PR Problem.

    • Richard
      10 years ago

      Jimbo, Violence will get no one anywhere fast apart from prison. No idea where the quotes are coming from, but certainly not from anything I’ve ever written.

    • Jimbo
      10 years ago

      Sorry Richard I did not mean to imply that they came from you πŸ™‚ .

      They are from here: http://tamebaynew.wpengine.com/2009/10/last-ditch-talks-between-royal-mail-and-cwu-fail.html

    • Kevin A
      10 years ago

      Thought I’d just say, my comments were said in jest(no offence intended)

      Not sure what the chap means about fake goods, as he knows nothing of my business or my working ethics.

      What I do know is, we’ve sold nothing for 48 hours and before the strike, it was hard work(no problem with that)trying to survive the longest ressession since the war, but we felt we were farring quite well.

      Indeed, I have spoken to all the postman that collect from us locally and not one wanted to strike. How many of the total workforce voted ‘yes’. I beleive a fair number are not even in the union.

      I’m hopefull that it will be sorted sooner rather than later though as it is completely the wrong time to take such action.

  • 10 years ago

    What is the matter with the CWU!!
    Do they not realise how much damage they are doing
    They are all acting like children and my only wish is that there was another company I could give my business to other the Royal Mail
    This is really not good enough and its about time the government stepped in

  • 10 years ago

    πŸ˜•
    I hope those who have influence in this chaos see sense soon,
    Somehow – I do not think they will

    Suz x

  • chris
    10 years ago

    Wish you would all wise up. Do you think postal staff want to loose wages in the run up to christmas, i dont. Stop thinking of youre seves, wingers.
    😈

    • 10 years ago

      We’re thinking of our customers too, actually.

      Would be nice if you could spare the occasional thought for yours, before you put us all out of business.

    • 10 years ago

      Chris, there are a lot of sellers who are ‘wising up’ and those who are able are taking their business elsewhere .. this will affect your wages long term WHEN YOU ARE MADE REDUNDANT!

      As for the rest of your comments, I must say you read my mind I was thinking exactly the same thing about THE STRIKING POSTAL WORKERS!! πŸ™„

  • Richard
    10 years ago

    WTF is “loose wages”? πŸ˜†

    Ignore the troll, not worth the effort.

  • Wheels
    10 years ago

    My view is we have lost over 60,000 postal jobs in 5 years taking our workforce down to 120,000. & then we are told ‘we don’t want change’ thrown at us! Has the service got better or worse over the last few years through all these job cuts? Personally I think not. Ive never seen it so bad!

    Some RM bosses are giving themselves million pound bonuses by making these job cuts, so some people are doing quite well out of it.

    The thing what worries me is how do we not know they will be another 60,000 job cuts out of the business over the next few years. Will this make the quality of service better or worse? Once again I think not. The service that the customer gets from us is truly shocking, but sadly it is the postman who gets the blame & not the people who brought these changes in in the first place.

    So basically if we strike, they is a very good chance we COULD lose our jobs, but if we don’t do nothing; we WILL lose our jobs. That’s just how I feel. & I hate that fact! Not only of the choice I have to make, but I know it is a selfish one that is hurting a lot of people/businesses out there.

    I have already been called a lot of names already on here & I can take them on the chin (that’s not punches mind you) as I can understand peoples fury on here.

    But please know they is postman out there who do care about their customers. A lot of postman in my area carry on past their finishing time by a good hour or two so they can finish their delivery. They could be selfish, and finish they round half done & take the reminder back to the office leaving 100s of homes/business without a delivery, but a majority of us don’t.

    Anyway that’s my thoughts for what its worth.

    • Bunchy
      10 years ago

      “So basically if we strike, they is a very good chance we COULD lose our jobs, but if we don’t do nothing; we WILL lose our jobs”

      So, the CWU know jobs are going down and they want to alienate as many customers and take as many small businesses with then as they can eh?
      Great thinking!

    • Bigpoppa
      10 years ago

      but if we don’t do nothing…

      …Well, technically if you “don’t do nothing” you are doing something or is it… πŸ˜• πŸ˜‰

  • chrisod
    10 years ago

    I think why many of us have little pity for the posties is that we have started second careers becoming on-line sellers.

    If you don’t like your job leave it.
    You are an employee, if the company is bad – do something else

    • 10 years ago

      Actually the more posties I speak to (and I’ve made an effort to speak to a fair few over the last week) the more I sympathise with them. I keep hearing “We’ve been doing everything for years, it’s just London”.

      I’ve still yet to hear a coherent concise reason from the CWU as to why all posties are on strike, but they don’t appear to have put that message out anywhere.

    • Jimbo
      10 years ago

      Chris not sure why you feel the need to constantly push against the CWU & seem totally oblivious to the responsibility of the management and “share holder” in the present state of play.

      To me the deterioration in the quality of service provided by Royal Mail is blindingly obvious. My home post normally arrives early afternoon, sometime even early evening, sometimes not at all, this is not a unique situation. The local post office is now run by a private firm and is like something from the third world. It’s filth and has giant queues – all other nearby Post Offices have shut.

      Yes mail volumes have droped but there were other periods not so long ago when there were lower mail volumes but you could set your clock by the mail coming through the door.

      You personally may see no need for a cheap, fast & reliable national postal service but I personally appreciate it (In my experience the service offered by Royal Mail is head & shoulders above all the couriers both in terms of value & reliability).

      The idea that the London postal workers are responsible for driving the strike is also comical. If postal workers don’t want to strike they don’t have to. They could vote against the strike or leave the union. From what I here there are a fair number of ground level managers who support the strike (hear say). I also hear that in some instances Postman are threatened with instant dismissal if they do not do overtime.

      Why are the postal workers on strike? Because the management will not involve the union in the process of moving forward. Why do the need to involve the union? Because they have a large workforce which the vast majority of, belong to the CWU (this is fact).

      So if Royal Mail fails (actually it can’t) where will the blame lie – in my opinion with Adam Crozier and Lord Mandelson.
      πŸ™‚

    • 10 years ago

      It’s very simple Jimbo – The CWU called a strike.

      I don’t care less what Postal workers working conditions are. I don’t care how intractable the unions and Royal Mail disagreements are. All I care about is that my parcels aren’t going to get to customers (Well they will do because at personal cost to myself I’m now using alternative carriers).

      I do feel sympathy for the many posties who (at least those I’ve spoken to personally) don’t care either, don’t want to strike and just want to get on with doing their job.

      I’d have a go at the Royal Mail management as well but they’re not actually on strike…

    • Jimbo
      10 years ago

      “I don’t care less what Postal workers working conditions are” – nice.

    • 10 years ago

      With all due respect to postal workers, who when they’re working do a fantastic job, it’s really not my problem… By not working they’re making it my problem by affecting my business and that’s something I can’t accept.

      The ease with which Royal Mail can hire an additional 30,000 temps says the job can’t be that bad. The country is in a the worst recession since the last world war – it’s time to knuckle down, work harder than normal and the strike directly affects my ability to do that.

    • Jimbo
      10 years ago

      Perhaps you should contact your local MP or lobby the government to help resolve the “crisis” for the eBay selling community (maybe you are already doing this πŸ˜‰ ). Or you could tell Royal Mail that they need to sit down with the CWU at ACAS. You could also acknowledge that although Royal Mail may now be in profit & have the highest paid civil servant in the country at the helm, the service that is being given to the end user is deteriorating rapidly (strikes or no strikes).

    • 10 years ago

      “Perhaps you should contact your local MP or lobby the government to help resolve the β€œcrisis” for the eBay selling community”.

      It’s certainly true that the government have failed to plan contingencies in advance. But then Gordon Brown seems quite happy about the disputes – makes it much easier for him to run down the service and sell it off to the private sector without having to tackle his backbenchers head-on.

      If the CWU and activist posties genuinely feel that the future of the service is at threat if they don’t put a line in the sand, then they need to go about their campaign in a very different way.

      The CWU must put across a coherent message about why these disputes are taking place, and it must offer a positive vision of how the Royal Mail could change for the benefit of all. Without either of these the disputes have nothing to gain and only play into the hands of those who want to privatise the service.

  • 10 years ago

    Ok, I think we need to to stop talking now and put words into action,

    The public need to see what these strikes are doing and it needs to be high profile.

    I am very happy to set up a website and lets organise a peacefull protest outside the CWU office all over the UK and get the TV crews and press there to see it.

    I know there is always 2 sides to every story, but after todays news of more strikes this has got to be stopped and fast

    The scottish Govt today has terminated RM contract – thats a loss of 8 millon a yr to RM I guess that means job cuts in the new yr, if the stikes were not happening this would not of happened and there are many other big names lookin to move away from RM if this continues.

    Lets get this out in front of the public

    I cant afford for this carry on for more than a few weeks if it does and our sales drop more we will have to lay off staff all due to the postal stikes

    Sue and chris have my email lets something organised

    One very unhappy and worried Managing Director of a small stationery company of 5 staff in manchester

    Terry

  • SimonL
    10 years ago

    Fan bloomingtastic, shocking sales today due to the strike, and more the same, the tiny bit of sympathy I had for a the few the postal workers has gone. The feeling I am getting is that most postal staff outside of the big city depots London Bristol etc, are not 100% sure why they are on strike, but are very worried that they dont piss off the CWU, so they have gone on strike. I would love to say sack the lot them, break up the CWU control, and remind the millitant strikers, in the currect climate you can count yourself lucky you have a fairly well paid job. Ok it’s hard work, well guess what thats life deal with it, if it’s too hard leave!

    • Have you not seen the news about the recession ? I don’t think that the strike alone is to blame. Other “retail” businesses out there which don’t rely on RM are not having a good time of it either. Sales are down, people will start their xmas shopping later, and so on.

    • SimonL
      10 years ago

      It’s funny how things started to look brighter until Tuesday night then nothing, questions still being asked, but no sales, still think it’s nothing to do with the stikes!

  • Bigpoppa
    10 years ago

    I got up at 7am this morning, my wife and I made sure our 6 kids got off to school ( we aslo have a 7th she’s only 3 weeks old) then I headed for our warehouse.

    Arriving at around 9am I got to work, my wife (and our new baby) were already there working hard. We then packaged envelopes and parcels answered around 300 emails, voicemails and eBay messages.

    Had a quick sandwich for lunch and carried on stuffing envelopes. Did some work on a new website we’re working on, dealt with a couple of upset customers.

    Luckily we have a van, so I loaded all our sacks of mail, boxes etc and drove them to our local mail centre, where 2 very helpful managers unloaded my van for me.

    I then done our Amazon packaging, leaving the warehouse at 21:05 this evening, got home 5 minutes chatting with our kids until they went to bed.

    A typical day in the whole, bloody hard work…but do I moan and groan about the bits I don’t like, NO. The reason why I don’t is because I choose to do it everyday and my whole family enjoy the benefits of all the hard work.

    All I ask of any post workers reading this is, take a look at what you are doing day in day out and ask yourself…Do you enjoy it, is it something you want to continue doing?

    If it isn’t, make a plan to get out, set yourself a timelimit and work towards achieving it.

    If it is, then do the best job you can, don’t be pressured by union members, think of YOUR family and YOUR commitments and why YOU get out of bed everyday and do what you do.

  • Jimbo
    10 years ago

    Bigpoppa have to say I admire your hard work and agree with your sentiment here.

    I also have a large family (four kids)and also work hard (not as hard as you, I have to admit). But as I’m the boss it is certainly easier to commit. I would also recommend that postman set their sights higher but it is not always easy & who knows – maybe they enjoy the life they have.

  • 10 years ago

    I’m pretty sure that both sides are right and both sides are wrong – it takes two to make a relationship, and it also takes two to break it.

    Both sides are following their own agenda, and neither of them appear to have the best interests of the people they serve in mind.

    The RM mangement need to start demonstrating that they value their workforce and the CWU and activist posties need to wake up to the context of the world around them. The government need to stop saying one thing, i.e. ‘no interference from us’ while at the same time seeming to egg on RM management from behind the scenes.

    The CWU may find that, by the time they get their heads out the sand, there’s nothing left worth fighting about. If the underlying agenda is to run down and then sell off RM, these disputes are accelerating that process.

  • Jimbo
    10 years ago

    “A BBC poll of more than 800 adults found that twice as many people sympathised with the postal workers than with the Royal Mail management”.

    http://bit.ly/4p2W4s

  • TheEastBelPostie
    10 years ago

    just thought i would have a say on this strike as i am a postie myself in east belfast.it seems to me that this strike is a waste of time as different rules applie to different offices. In east belfast we seem to be doing most of the extra work that london and other offices are partly striking for, like lappsing and fan sharing. so why should i be walking out for some lazy git not to do what i am already doing. Where were they when our office needed them. i will tell ya where, getting finished before their time and loving it. so now i have to strike for them when our office will never get these extra duties takin of. and i must say that the lads in our office mostly make it work. so what leg have the others got to stand on.that is cwu”s fault for letting us down when we needed them. Now as far as other issues are concerned, i wish someone from our so called union would explain them to me, and let me know why i am having to go out on strike coming up to xmas and with bills to pay. to me this whole things a joke, but i will not be a scab as it is more trouble than its worth. so thank you CWU D**KS. a p****d of postie

    • “lappsing and fan sharing”

      Qu’est-ce que c’est ??

    • SimonL
      10 years ago

      What you are describing, is what I have been hearing too, workers in the big depots are the ones pushing for the strike, leaving the rest of the postal workers to pick up the mess

  • northumbrian
    10 years ago

    its dead simple to sort this I am astounded

    Scott wingo and Channel Advisor have not become involved
    they know the answer to everything
    😈

  • TheEastBelPostie
    10 years ago

    yes lappsing and fan sharing. lappsing is were a man is taking of his delivery and used else were, his delivery is then divided up betweeen the other staff.meaning they do there own walks and part of someone elses. fan sharing is were 2 posties go out in 1 van doing both their deliverys and all the heavy bulk items as well, heavy bulk items are normally taking out with the heavy fan drivers. but with fan sharing this frees up another man to do work elsewhere.

  • TheEastBelPostie
    10 years ago

    forgive my spelling, i mean van sharing and lapsing. thanks to my fiancee i have been corrected

    • 10 years ago

      Hi TheEastBelPostie, spelling is not a problem and your input is really appreciated. It’s quite interesting that when your and other offices were undergoing change nothing was done but the strikes are centered around the London office changes. I wonder if it’s because London has more influence or if it’s simply the most disruptive time of year for strikes to get most coverage in the news?

    • TheEastBelPostie
      10 years ago

      cheers m8, spelling never was my strong point. i am not sticking up for RM by any means because they give us extra work and then complain when we go to claim overtime, which can only be expected of us, we are not robots after all.also if we say we cannot work over our time we are bullied and pressured into doing it even when we have valid excuses, in other words forced to do overtime, which is not acceptable. but then again can i be sure this goes on across the board, probably not. but the days of going home early are over. RM want us out for the hours we are paid for. not out of the question but their tactics at bringing these changes in leaves alot to be desired.

  • 10 years ago

    Our local RM office and posties have given me brilliant service since I moved to Cumbria from West London, a few years ago. No question! BUT what they must realise is that I am their customer. Teat me nice (to quote Elvis)
    My former and potential eBay and Amazon customers have slowed down buying because they are worried about delivery and so they cease or do not become my customers
    I would change from RM today if I could as I need to please my customers and not because I think any the less of local posties
    My cousin is a postie – I understand a bit of their protest but punishing the customer is a sure fire way to go completely out of business and I guess that is what the government wants, having destroyed the rural post office network already.
    Bet it would be a different solution nearer the election – what price postal voting?

  • Jimbo
    10 years ago

    Hopefully an agreement can be reached
    http://bit.ly/3ODetE (link to the BBC).

    • Andy
      10 years ago

      Let’s hope so.

      Common sense must prevail at some point mustn’t it? 😐

  • Jimbo
    10 years ago

    Adam Crozier is on the Andrew Marr show this morning at about 9.45 (BBC1).

    • Dom
      10 years ago

      “Mr Crozier added that while he hoped an outline agreement would result in this week’s strikes being called off, it would take “a couple of months” to agree any final deal.”

      Well if an ‘outline agreement’ gets us through Christmas without anymore disruption I would be happy. I rely on these next 8 weeks.

  • Andy
    10 years ago

    Today we were called by our Account Manager at Royal Mail who wanted to pop in to review our account and discuss the possibility of using more Royal Mail services. What planet are they on? More Royal Mail services in this climate? I don’t think so.

    Tomorrow we start using DHL 24 instead of Special Delivery – and at a cheaper rate than Royal Mail as well. And it’s just the start.

    Taking that call I had to wonder (I know – hell should have frozen over first) whether the postal workers have a point. with their dispute.

    Why wasn’t this bloke helping clear the backlog or doing something more useful than calling customers who are far from happy with Royal Mail? I was waiting for the punchline but there wasn’t one.

    Just amazing stupidity and if that’s what the postal workers have to put up with day in and day out no wonder they’re striking. I was ready to down tools myself but I don’t have union so decided against it after consulting myslef! πŸ™‚

  • Hans
    10 years ago

    Are they still going to strike for the next 3 days ? Try to avoid to get my mail in the backlog. I already have packages delivered after 6 weeks due to earlier strikes. And it’s hard work to calm down the customers for such a long time πŸ™‚
    Seller from The Netherlands.

    • 10 years ago

      Hans, as of right now, yes they’re still striking. If that changes, obviously we’ll post the happy news.

  • One little tip (although I know it won’t work for everybody.) If you live on the border of a collection area split your post into different lots and post in different towns etc. That way if some areas strike at different times …. Obviously you could take some to work (if you still have a job and are not just eBay)and post in that town.

    For example I live on the Staffordshire/Cheshire border so some post goes to Stoke, some has been posted in Cheshire (when I have to go there), and I found myself in Aldershot the other day and posted a load there as well. Today I have to go to Yorkshire so will take another load there.

    Not sure how much difference it makes in real terms but it could help if, like I say, different areas are striking at different times and/or some areas are more likely to have bigger backlogs.

  • northumbrian
    10 years ago

    if thats the answer

    we were in Rome last week, Oxford yesterday, Birmingham the day before,
    Edinburgh today and Glasgow on Friday,
    CWU eat your heart out the post will get thru 😈 😈 πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    • I don’t suppose my suggestion will make that much difference, but if it helps then all good.

  • Stuart Fear
    10 years ago

    I’m a producer at BBC Radio Stoke.

    We’re trying to find someone in Staffordshire or south Cheshire whose business has/is been/being affected by the postal strike. If that’s you and you’d like to talk to us about it please contact me at stuart.fear@bbc.co.uk

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