Royal Mail say “A ballot result does not necessarily mean industrial action”
Royal Mail acknowleged notification from the CWU of the results of their ballot for industrial action saying that it doesn’t necessarily follow that industrial action will go ahead. However it has to be said that it puts the Union in a powerful position as there is little to prevent them from calling strikes if talks don’t progress at a pace they’re happy with.
For Royal Mail, postal strikes which wreck Christmas would be devastating. Retailers would be forced to consider alternatives and once a business starts using another supplier the only reason that they’d return is likely to be service and cost. Regardless, on the first strikes businesses will be forced to use alternatives and they’re likely to carry on using those alternatives at least until the threat of further strikes is ended.
Here is Royal Mail’s statement in full:
Royal Mail is very disappointed by the announcement that CWU members have voted (89 per cent Yes) in favour of taking industrial action. However, we note that with a 74 per cent turnout – and taking into account frontline employees who are not union members (18,000) – 57 per cent have backed a strike.
A ballot result for industrial action does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action. Royal Mail is committed to further talks as a matter of urgency, to reach agreement with the CWU. There are no grounds for industrial action. We want to reach agreement. Post Office is a separate business from Royal Mail and its employees are not involved in this dispute.
In 2013, Royal Mail and the CWU committed to the Agenda for Growth (AFG) – a legally binding agreement. Royal Mail has brought to the CWU’s attention the contractual dispute resolution procedures included in the AFG, which both sides are required to follow once instigated. They escalate to independent external mediation, which we expect will take close to Christmas to be completed, and may be longer. We believe these dispute resolution procedures must be followed. The union cannot take industrial action until they have been completed.
Industrial action is damaging for our business. It undermines the trust of our customers. It makes it harder to pay for the great terms and conditions we provide for our employees. National industrial action means the current offer from Royal Mail, including on pensions, will be taken off the table.
What we have offered
Under its proposals, Royal Mail would continue to provide the best pay and terms and conditions in the industry by some distance. We are not proposing to change our core terms and conditions or our commitment to a predominantly permanent workforce. Many competitors pay around the National Living Wage. Royal Mail pays 45-50% more than this.
We have offered to continue working towards a new pay deal, including an increase of up to 5% over two years, depending on productivity improvements, flexibility and a small number of trials. We are offering to replace our Defined Benefit pension scheme – the Royal Mail Pension Plan (RMPP) – with another type of Defined Benefit scheme. RMPP members would also have the choice to join a Defined Contribution scheme instead if they wished to do so. We have also proposed significant improvements for members of the Royal Mail Defined Contribution Plan, with a maximum Company contribution of 10%. We are also discussing how we can be more flexible to offer the services our customers want, including next day delivery for items ordered late in the evening.
Strange how the agenda for growth agreement is so important to Royal Mail when for the last three years when it suited them they’ve chosen to ignore it bully boy tactics yet again instead of listening to their staff on the ground why am I not surprised