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CWU members vote for Royal Mail strike action

By Dan Wilson October 3, 2017 - 5:21 pm

A ballot of members at the Communications Workers Union (CWU) has come out strongly in favour of a Royal Mail strike.

The vote given to 110000 staff supports industrial action by 89% on a turnout of 73%. That’s above the legal threshold that requires a voter turnout of over 50% to be valid.

No dates have been mentioned and, possibly the action can be avoided if Royal Mail and the union can negotiated acceptable terms in the next few weeks. It seems likely that strike dates will be organised to disrupt the peak volume of Christmas and ecommerce parcels using the network in the run-up to Christmas.

Sadly, a union official speaking of the result didn’t sound a compromising tone.

Deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said: “This ballot result is hugely significant and demonstrates a strength of feeling that can only be translated as a massive vote of no confidence in the managerial leadership of the Royal Mail Group and the direction that they advocate. Any sense of vocational spirit and working together with management has been lost in a climate of fear and insecurity. This massive failure in trust has created a breakdown in relationships and a toxic environment where working together to solve difficult problems has become almost impossible. The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked.”

What marketplace sellers need to do

Whatever you think of the rights and wrongs on either side of this proposed Royal Mail strike action, if you’re reliant on Royal Mail for your consignments and despatches then, for the sake of your own business, you’ll need to find other courier services in the event of stoppages, if you don’t have them on board already. You can find plenty of options in the Tamebay Guide Shipping section.

The field of alternative shipping suppliers has increased greatly in recent years. And indeed some of the costs are very competitive these days, so if you haven’t reviewed the field in a while, now is the time to prepare.

  • Andy R
    2 months ago

    So how am I going to be able to send Dave Ward a Christmas card, then?

  • Northumbrian
    2 months ago

    Snowball and Napoleon, assume command and consider it a duty to prepare for the Rebellion. The animals revolt and drive the drunken and irresponsible farmer Mr. Jones from the farm, renaming it “Animal Farm”. … Food is plentiful, and the farm runs smoothly.

  • Mac
    2 months ago

    Think the business owners among us made it clear on the pages discussing possible strike action that we will take our own action to support our businesses.

    If that includes moving work from royal mail to a non striking competitor then so be it. I am aware already of 2 courier companies who will be eager for extra work.

    If royal mail lose enough business will they then make staff redundant despite what the unions and strikers want?

  • Terri
    2 months ago

    My items are all letter post – what do I do – go out of business????

  • 2 months ago

    I’m going to wish my postman a ‘Happy Broken Leg’, compound fracture at least but then the little s!!! would still get overpaid for doing nothing.
    This is only the start of a period of discontent if Lab get in so SME’s sharpen up

  • Steve P
    2 months ago

    ^^^ Perhaps If Labour had been “In” The Post Office wouldn’t have been privatized and this situation might never have happened..

    • Toby
      2 months ago

      yes good point. Royal mail would still have been an under funded, out of date, dinosaur of a company….. To be honest since getting privatised they have been slowly improving. Everyone thinks that once back in public hands it will be well funded and profits ploughed back into it rather than to share holders…. The truth is this wont happen. The profits will go into the central pot and be wasted on ‘vote winning’ pie in the sky, money for nothing schemes. If money from certain areas went back into where they came from we would have the best transport system and roads in the world.
      It was this very system of public ownership that left the utilities in such a dreadful state in the first place…. when you dont have to be profitable, and can just blame the state for lack of money… you have no reason to modernise.
      Sadly many of this industries have had it so good for so long that they simply dont like living in the same world as the rest of us.
      ….. I will agree though that some tighter regulation is needed on some with a cap on profits if certain standards aren’t met first.

    • Andy R
      2 months ago

      It was Mandelson who first tried to privatise it, oh ye of short memory, but they couldn’t get enough back bench votes.

    • 2 months ago

      You are correct this strike was always on the cards after privatisation of a strongly union representative business, the royal mail workers lost pension rights, asked to. Change working conditions for no fair rise in pay, whilst dividends to the shareholders went up and up. We only sell large letter items so this is going to cost us big style, hopefully it can be sorted out as we cannot justify raising prices to cover the cheapest packet post that competes with royal mail

  • Joe B
    2 months ago

    I send mostly large letter items so I’m stuffed. But I will say this, if I switch to another courier for my packet items, I won’t be coming back to RM.

  • northumbrian
    2 months ago

    we dont think the other couriers will mind to much if you call your large letters
    small parcels

  • Oldvan
    2 months ago

    True – they won’t mind – but to spend £3 instead of 76p / £1.22 for a large letter for sending £4 items (records mostly) it puts me out of business. Anyone know of any cheaper minimum chargers from couriers for small items?

    • northumbrian
      2 months ago

      postage cost sting a bit on low value items ,
      though parcel 2go do a deal at £2.39 inc vat with my hermes parcel shops,
      depends on your margins and how you can balance the costs ,but might keep you in business if CWU strike

  • james
    2 months ago

    what’s the panic about, from a seller point of view?
    customer will complain about late delivery? “sorry, but you may have seen that RM are on strike” should cover that.
    ebay & amazon will protect your store from any defects arising as a result.
    it may be an inconvenience, but it’s really not the hell and damnation people appear to be expecting here.

    • Gill
      2 months ago

      Good luck with that approach James – your faith in eBay and Amazon to protect accounts and in buyer patience is a little optimistic, I would say.

      The biggest issue last time around that I recall was that it really put people off buying.

      At least the cost of alternative courier services has come down massively in real terms, although it will still be a big price hike as I send mainly large letter items too.

    • james
      2 months ago

      I’m not optimistic in any regard to ebay, i’m realistic at best (downright pessimistic at worst), anyone familiar with my ‘contributions’ to tamebay can testify to that, but this is not the first time it’s happened, and previously, we were protected.

      i don’t expect buyers to be patient, but the vast majority are not clinically insane (though a certain percentage definitely are). if they’ve seen on the news that morning (and all the previous week) that Royal Mail are on strike today, you really believe they’re blaming any delays on the seller?
      – if you’ve seen on the news for weeks that RM are going to strike, then order a mail-delivery item to be delivered during the strike, it’s a large part your own fault.

      if anyone hasn’t seen the news, explain that you despatched on time, on the delivery method advertised, exactly as expected, however Royal Mail are on strike and there’s nothing you can do about that.
      – if you’re paranoid, auto-email every new customer for an RM sized item explaining there may be a delay due to RM strikes. they can cancel before despatch if they want (to order from another online seller?) or upgrade to a courier for £x.xx, otherwise their item may be a couple of days late.

      like i said, this is not the end of the world, in any way shape or form, it’s hardly a setback at all.

      if your entire gripe is “well it may impact my profit”, and thus your case is that RM workers should just accept whatever conditions, whatever wage drops (in real terms), whatever short-changed pensions, whatever drop in standards they are offered, without complaint, just to protect YOUR margins, then i have no respect for your argument at all.

  • 2 months ago

    As James said….

  • Mac
    2 months ago

    Why would buyers purchase from you if you cannot send the items?
    They can instead pay more and buy from other people who can deliver.

    You are aware how royal mail usually deals with backlog post?

    • 2 months ago

      It depends on how quick they need the item

  • Martin TW
    2 months ago

    How bad this is depends on how any strike is organised. If it is odd days, simply change your handling time in Business Policies. That will extend your delivery, but you will still sell, although you will lose any top-rated seller discounts. If it is an extended strike, then it is a much bigger issue.

  • 2 months ago

    I think Ebay will need to consider the problem, it already looks at other metrics rather than just LDR

    With Amazon, not so much of a problem, today’s sales are showing:

    Expected dispatch date: 6 Oct 2017 – Will post today

    Deliver by 10 Oct 2017 to 14 Oct 2017

  • 2 months ago

    I’m guessing most of the people commenting are Tories,god help us if they win another term in office, with people like these in charge of companies there will be no ordinary working class people left to deliver your parcels and letters.Thank god there are still unions left to protect workers rights, if it was down to you lot we would all go back to Victorian working practises.

  • John
    2 months ago

    If postmen are so lazy why the hell did all you eBay sellers not move years ago? You know nothing about the job your concerns are you getting as much profit from your fake goods as possible and ripping off the general puplic!! You would be surprised how many people think it’s an easy job but the truth is I see new starters pack in after a month because it’s not as easy as they thought £10.50 a hour has never ade me a millionaire!! And I wouldnt do the job for £7.50 a hour I can sit behind a till or computer for that!! Get real people oh yeah I forgot mails down 40 percent in the last ten years? REALLY??! Get from behind your desk and get in the real world ,don’t believe everything you read.

    • Iggs
      2 months ago

      John, try working from home 12-14 hours a day whilst looking after three kids, running a small but honest and successful business turning a mediocre profit and reliant on Royal Mail. We are the people you will most affect. YOU have no idea how easy you have it my friend.

    • CG
      2 months ago

      John, I am waiting for the day when another supplier opens up a service that goes up against large letters and we don’t have to rely on RM to deliver them believe me!!!!!

    • JoeB
      2 months ago

      @John – those sellers are your customers. With an attitude like that, saying we all sell fake overpriced goods – you don’t deserve to work for RM. Given that letters and postcards are pretty much a thing of the past, mail order sellers are probably the main thing that keeps you in a job.

      Shame on you.

  • Mac
    2 months ago

    S.b – no, but as the country has voted the Tories into power 3 times in a row, last time just 4 months ago, it’s safe to say the people who vote do like the Tories.

    John – plenty of eBay sellers gave not experienced strikes affecting thousands of pounds of business before.
    Some of us did move a chunk of work to other companies over time – because those companies can deliver. Royal Mail staff apparently will not deliver for what is said to be 48 hours at a time – and unless agreement is reached this will keep happening.
    I do not fancy losing money because you guys want time off, not when other people will eagerly take the work and do it.

    You guys do not want my business fine, your competitors do. Enough people stop using Royal Mail then the organisation can get rid of some staff. Oh wait, you will strike about that too won’t you?
    The world has changed, as Royal Mail will not supply the service by choice then those with a choice can decide to send by other companies.

    Quick look – myhermes will do parcel delivery for 2.79 – hey, they are not striking.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 months ago

      @ Mac – I was going to write a post – then I read yours – brilliant couldn’t have put it better.

      Regarding Hermes as an alternative – we are on volume rates of £2.00. Far cheaper than Royal Mail Tracked 48 and as you say Hermes WANT the business and don’t go on strike.

      To Royal Mail dudes out there – the world has changed , you are living in the past but the full impact of this will not be realised until AFTER you retire. You are doing your organisation NO favours for the next generation of posties and Royal Mail workers.

      Me? I am sick of you guys trying to stuff up my business for your cause – I have taken my parcels to Hermes – and don’t think they are significantly less reliable either.

    • 2 months ago

      @Alan Paterson, is that £2.00 plus vat? I currently pay £2.15+VAT via Royal Mail

      I was looking at them and saw “Three consecutive courier attempts”, some of my customers are a bit daft, they take 10-15 days before they ask me “where’s my stuff?”

      Some never bother contacting me at all, we just get the items returned.

  • northumbrian
    2 months ago

    check out my hermes pay rates and conditions fellas
    because that’s coming to you,
    once you bugger up royal mail

  • northumbrian
    2 months ago

    the stance of these flag waving activists is exasperating
    its a job not a crusade
    striking is suicidal, the days are gone where royal mail had the monopoly

  • Mac
    2 months ago

    Perhaps the workers wanting strikes are too young to recall the effects of strikes in the 70s and 80s.

    They can always get jobs working elsewhere if they find Royal Mail too hard a company to work for. Unless of course this is the best job they can get in which case why they would choose to cut the jobs themselves is beyond me.

    • 2 months ago

      Mac, I really do not think that is totally fair, if you sign up to work for a company with a set pension / working hours etc, then that is what you should get.

      Any alteration to the above has to be reasonable and fair.

      On the other side of the fence the RMG will have a problem with the historic pension agreement, with people living longer and more money needed in the pot to pay those people in retirement, the pension fund will go bankrupt in the long term and everybody will lose out.

      Meanwhile….

      The CWU is planning on curbing pension benefits and raising the retirement age for its own workforce.

      They include increasing the retirement age from 60 to 65, closing three existing final salary schemes to future accrual, and introducing a new scheme based on career average earnings.

  • 2 months ago

    Like I said you have know idea how flexible Royal Mail workers are you keep saying the world has changed . My work conditions change every year! Don’t know why you guys are so worried when you have Hermes . Your like children . I work dam hard and then go home to look after my to children LG’s is not the only person who looks after children! I don’t want to strike I want a company that cares about the customers like it used to before profits I want a company that gives me a fair deal and conditions. Royal Mail is being run in down don’t be blinded by your self gains. If I lose my job that will have a shirt service and conditions I will take my redundancy and work for Hermes with the same shit service and terms move to a new courier and stop bleating on and on posties don’t guve a dam anymore if Royal get what they want this job will be two a penny!!

  • northumbrian
    2 months ago

    if it were all about a fair deal and fair conditions . there would be more sympathy shown but your being being used
    and lead by the nose to further political ideology

    • MissG
      2 months ago

      What rather than being used and lead by a capitalist ideology that simply isn’t working for millions of people ?

    • Underground Pete
      2 months ago

      There are plenty of other workforces in the country that have been balloted for industrial action I can assure you , but all fall short of Tory strike laws , if only they had to adhere to the same set of rules they set wouldn’t that be something, none of them would have a job

  • John
    2 months ago

    In truth you don’t really understand this dispute I working for Royal Mail know exactly where this is going and I and a lot of other posties do not want to be part of the new Royal Mail! Trust me in a few years time Royal Mail as you see it will be a bad service!! What don’t you guys see ? Please please understand the facts I don’t give a dam about a pay rise . I earn about £14000 a year take home not a massive wage!! Decent yes. Massive no!! It’s not all about pay and pensions have you seen the strings attached! If I was you I would move courier because Royal Mail will be know different from them soon! Open your eyes

  • Monger
    2 months ago

    John don’t waste your time , you can’t educate pigs, the people on here know jack shit about Royal Mail and only care about there profits!. Like you said in your earlier post selling fakes for as much as they can with no sympathy for there customers, we all need each other in this world !!

    • JD
      2 months ago

      Insults and ‘misinformation’ cut no ice here and will never help your case.
      Strikes for businesses that use RM will be inconvenient for sure but business is used to managing on multiple fronts so will find a way whatever results for both RM and its employees.

    • CG
      2 months ago

      Wow don’t you sound a delight! I care about paying my mortgage, so yes I do care about my profit, god what a pig I am! We work 6, sometimes 7 days a week come rain or shine, no sick pay, no holiday pay, ridiculous hours trying to turn a decent profit and that’s the choice we make, so I’m over hearing about posties’ pensions in all honesty.

  • northumbrian
    2 months ago

    without pigs posting packages royal mail employees wont take home any bacon

  • Monger
    2 months ago

    And I care about my profits so not so different then? Try looking at the wider picture cg Royal Mail is heading for the gig economy sure you don’t care but its my livelihood

  • Monger
    2 months ago

    Buy the way I don’t agree with sick pay if I don’t work I shouldn’t get paid

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