The impact of Royal Mail going to the High Court

By Chris Dawson October 9, 2017 - 9:00 am

Royal Mail insist that notification of industrial action from the CWU doesn’t mean industrial action will go ahead. If the notification isn’t withdrawn by the CWU, then at high noon today, Royal Mail will go to the High Court to seek an injunction blocking the CWU from holding the 48 hour strike scheduled to start late morning on the 19th October.

Royal Mail’s position

Royal Mail say that they are committed to further talks as a matter of urgency to reach agreement with the CWU. They say that there are no grounds for industrial action. and that they want to reach agreement.

“If any industrial action does go ahead, which is by no means certain at this stage, we have contingency plans in place. We’ll do anything we can to minimise disruption to you or your business whatever the outcome of the negotiations. While talks continue, it’s business as usual”.
– Mark Street, Royal Mail

Royal Mail need your business and want to keep it. They face stiff enough competition as it is and every business that walks away weakens the national postal service further.

The CWU’s position

The CWU have been building towards industrial action for most of 2017. Due to the change in the law on turnout for industrial action ballots, the CWU have run their ‘Four Pillars’ campaign almost flawlessly, building to the time when they could be pretty certain of getting a yes vote.

The clock is now ticking for the CWU as strikes have to be held within 6 months or a new ballot is needed. We’re also coming into the Christmas period which is traditionally the time for posties to strike as it gives maximum impact on consumers. A postal strike in January just won’t get the same media reaction and neither will it be as devastating to the Royal Mail.

The postal workers position

Royal Mail going to the High Court for an injunction to stop workers striking won’t please those workers who voted for industrial action. If they were upset enough to want to strike, being prevented from striking by a High Court injunction is just the ammunition that the CWU need to go nuclear on their campaigning.

The big issue is that Royal Mail has to change, deliveries need to be later in the day to allow for late night purchases to be delivered next working day and sooner or later evening deliveries will become the norm. If I miss a parcel in Thatcham where I live, I can’t pick it up any weekday after 1pm. Those who work regular hours may have to wait until Saturday to collect their parcels. That’s just not good enough in today’s world.

Posties may have a reasonable gripe that working 10am to 6pm means they’ll be pounding the streets in the dark in the winter but the reality is that that’s what consumers will want. Letters no longer arrive before lunch time for me and frankly, if they’re not on the door mat before breakfast, for most people it makes little difference if they arrive at 10am or 5pm.

Posties have other gripes like wanting a bumper pay rise and fighting to keep their current pension arrangements, but the biggest failing has to be the gulf between the managements vision and the posties’ disenfranchisement. Posties feel hard done by and now, having voted to strike, to have their industrial action blocked by legal wrangling may well make industrial relations worse than if they strike was allowed to go ahead.

  • Jimmy Grimble
    2 years ago

    Chris Dawson was a lazy piece of journalism and quite frankly factually incorrect.
    Do you really think 89% of people that voted are only concerned about working hours and a pay rise. Sorry you are deluded

    • 2 years ago

      Don’t forget the pensions…

    • 2 years ago

      @Jimmy Grimble

      Shame you were too lazy to write a factually correct response to show him the error of his ways.

      Without the true facts, you response is a worthless rant.

  • Rick Jewell
    2 years ago

    so closing our pension scheme down was not executive action by Royal Mail then??

  • northumbrian
    2 years ago

    89% of those who voted were union members , we wonder what percentage of ducks quack,?
    and as an ex shop steward were well aware its the question thats put influences the vote

  • darren
    2 years ago

    It will be worse if they go to the high court posties will then work to rule and do less this will have a much bigger impact than a 2 day strike.Royal mail really do need to think about this, if i was now a retail customer of royal mail i’d be more worried about the high court action than the 2 day strike.

  • Andy
    2 years ago

    By the time i retire i would of worked 45yrs as a postie,and i’m not happy having my pension stolen from me while i see the robber baron directors lining their own pockets and mismanaging the company.Royal mail has been rife with bulling from managers it has become the normal way they treat the staff yes we have had enougth.we have no problem with working later at all we are working class yes stupid no ,we relise we have to be flexible and have been for years and to repeat myself its the managers treatment of the staff and their greed we are fighting,yep done 30yrs another 15 to go

  • Postie11
    2 years ago

    I cant believe your report. As a postie myself all we are looking for is a decent payrise!! And the pension we were promised. Most customers dont want a later delivery. Very selfish and one sided report!!!

  • Allan
    2 years ago

    I think it’s about time we the company
    That we can not be walked over any more .
    I have 5 more years to go
    And this about the coming years .
    And the employment of any one who seeks employment there

  • Allan
    2 years ago

    This about things that going on there
    And let the company know how we feel .
    We are not happy with them .
    We do ask for lot .
    We are out in rine snow .

  • Paul c
    2 years ago

    Royal Mail only have themselves to blame in all this , they have spent the last 18 months wasting millions of pounds on producing fictitious propaganda and pension statements that borders on criminal behaviour , including state pensions in their sums , what the hell has my state pension got to do with Royal Mail , my last piece of crap from them told me I was getting an 87,900 lump sum I thought I had won the lottery,do they think we are all retards , going to the high court will make it 10 times worse as someone has mentioned , it’s high time they came clean and started some serious negotiations , they have failed in their flimsy attempt to con 110,000 workers

  • Jones
    2 years ago

    If Moyà and her henchmen think running to the high court is going to resolve this dispute then they are sadly mistaken a simple ban on overtime would bring this company to its knees lack of full time staff forever being pressured to cover duties for people on long term sick has brought the staff to the point of voting the way they did in the ballot for gods sake get your heads out of the sand either start negotiating seriously or resign.

  • Mark Taylor
    2 years ago

    I cannot refer to the writer of this article as a journalist. As to print a report without checking his facts ,and quite frankly,trying to sensationalise 110,000 peoples true reasons for calling for action he sounds more like a Tory sycophant than a writer .
    In his opinion the working man should be kept in his place whilst being happy with his lot as long as he gets his mail and parcels when it suits him.
    Well done for admitting how selfish you are. Maybe next time we won’t bother reading a newspaper as its easier to just turn on the T.V.
    You will probably then have something to say in the defence of the printers,writers,and hundreds of thousands of staff associated with your industry when we have no use for the written word,

  • Northumbrian
    2 years ago

    We’re one of those that are only interested in receiving our mail when it suits us
    And don’t apologise for being a customer that expects a service for our money not a political agenda

    • Mark Taylor
      2 years ago

      Thanks to Royal mail and the government who sold her you no longer have a service that will deliver at your beck and call.
      They will run the place as cheaply as they can, driven only by the hunger of profit for the management bonus schemes and the top few share holders that bought in with the offer of cheap shares. I too expect, or at least wish for a decent service from any retailer i use. But i’m afraid you get what you pay for, and at the moment you’re paying for the CEO’s two hundred thousand pounds per year pension fund, plus her salary,
      and all just before she leaves the company to make peoples lives at Easy Jet a misery.
      If a company isn’t delivering what you want, or have paid for ,then surely that’s the fault of the people that are running the place, good luck with that. and your need to look after number one.

    • Carl M
      2 years ago

      This is extremely lazy jounalism, however, NORTHUMBRIAN not sure where you were a shop steward however we have passed every single test on balloting the Tories have thrown at us, which is why Royal Mail are not challenging us on numbers of member etc etc You are probably an ex-shop steward as you don’t have the correct principles.

    • northumbrian
      2 years ago

      we have a business to run ,its not all about no1 ,this effects the many others who rely on us , who work ,supply ,and provide services for te business,
      if anything, its the CWU that is selfish and inward looking,
      why should we care if postal workers want to be lemmings throwing their future over a cliff

    • northumbrian
      2 years ago

      a very much ex GMB shop steward tyneside shipyards 1980s
      and your very right I did not have the correct principles ,
      I wanted to stay in a job , not be a pawn

  • David Griffin
    2 years ago

    Shame on you Chris,at least give postie a break by giving a honest report on this dispute.Maybe it’s your consultancy work with ebay sellers that clouded your reporting of the issue

    2 years ago

    The problem with most industrial issues is that most of the “outsiders” do not know the issues in any depth, so for clarity, i read snippets about the pension.

    In my previous employment, the pension had to change as it would become unaffordable, so new employees had to go on to the new pension scheme and the current employees had the choice to move onto the new scheme, so eventually after time, the old pension scheme phased out.

    I see comments like “Pension Stolen” which seems to suggest, on the face of it, that you will not get a pension, which most people will know is not true.

    I would be interested to know what the proposal is.

    My assumption at the moment, is that at a certain date, the pension scheme will change and what your pension pot has earned so far is put aside and added to from the new pension scheme?

    Or am i wrong!!

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      Lee, you’re right. Whatever pension people have accrued by the time the scheme closes, will be protected, with all future accruals in the new scheme (whatever that may be).

  • K
    2 years ago

    I wonder if the guy posting all these pro-strike comments realises that he’s making all postmen look like a bunch of illiterates.

  • 2 years ago

    The people who post negative stories about postmen/women are you think they want to strike and lose money for the sake of it?they are fighting for the future of their jobs,their pensions,and the way in which they(and people in other industries)are treated for working flat out every day just to line the pockets of directors and management ,who don,t give a damn about the workforce as long as they are getting their bonuses.this culture of fat cats getting fatter as the real workers suffer has to stop, but I’m afraid while we have the Tories in charge the future looks bleak for people who want a fair days pay for all the effort they put only have to look at some ministers in charge of the country who are directors of various firms lining their pockets and also pocketing hundreds of thousands of pounds towards their pension pots,while low paid workers are fighting for every penny for theirs.i say good luck to the posties in their fight,because if a workforce like themselves are driven to the point of despair in calling for strike action,that sums up what is wrong with the working practises and culture of the world we live in today.

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      Fair pay? You mean like asking for an inflation busting payrise, *and* a reduction in working hours for the same pay?

      Whilst I’d like to be paid the same money to work less hours, surely asking for that and a payrise is a touch greedy?

    • alan paterson
      2 years ago

      Oh dear S.B. you really don’t get the bigger picture do you? Nooooooo

  • 2 years ago

    I been a postman for 36 yrs the last 5 yrs have been terrible to work in long hrs in weather rain .snow..winds I am a rural driver it’s hard work driving for 5 hrs.doing a round I like to see them bosses doing it instead of sitting on their backsides & wasting our money on trying to destroy a good job I bet they won’t be working 10 to 6 on sat like me our boss is gone by 12 every day

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      Gone by 12? But what time did he start?

      Are you suggesting your manager does a 3 hour work day?

  • postie
    2 years ago

    This is a fight for the future of Royal Mail as a service. RM is beholden to a regulator who ONLY regulates RM, who likes & puts up with this because all the regulator does is demand efficiency savings, which RM interpret as job cuts. Not a level playing field.I have a been a postal worker for over 30 years & in the last 12 months the quality of service I have witnessed is the worst I have ever seen. Mainly due to lack of staff & inept management. If things carry on the way they are going, in the future anybody not living in big town or city will have either an expensive or depleted service.

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      ‘Puts up’ with Ofcom? It has no choice but put up with Ofcom … it has the Universal Service Obligation, to deliver anywhere in the UK for the same price. Ofcom regulates that obligation on behalf of the nation.

  • Northumbrian
    2 years ago

    In the future everyone in the country towns and city will have a depleted service
    It’s called a STRIKE
    So where’s the future in that?

  • 2 years ago

    As a working postie that talks to his customers I refute the claim that they do not care about the time they get thier mail if it is not there at breakfast. Most of our customers would like thier items delivered as early as it can be. Yes they would like to be able to order as late as possible for next day delivery and most are willing to pay a little extra to enable this but they definitely want it as early as they can get it. Of course they would like it for free but it is not about the collection time it is more important to them that they get it as early as possible and in as good condition as possible and delivered to the right address. The point you make about access to collect thier items when they are returned to the office because they are not home is valid. They would like later and earlier opening times but remember most other carriers do not have this service and royal mail offer it as well as redelivery at a specified time / place (unless it is signed for item). There is a school of thought that says they would like to track the item to the door but that is not the be all and end all. As long as it gets there is thier main concern. Many customers are business’s and quite frankly to have thier post delivered when they are due to go home for the day horrifies them. Many run business’s from home and would like to deal with thier post on the day that they receive it. I currently start my delivery between 9:00 -10:00 and finish my delivery between 2:30 – 4:00 depending on the day and the ammout of mail I have on that day. The overwhelming comment is you’re late. Imagine how they will feel when the time span is between 12:00 – 6:00 so that I can make sure that the bloke up the road can get the new I pod he ordered at 23:00 last night . The argument that you and royal mail are using will advantage the odd late night shopper to the detriment of the 600 or so normal customers that want to get on with thier normal business. The solution is not to move the whole network to later in the day it is to extend the scope of the business that you are doing. Alas royal mail will not do this as it will cost and by having a little extra cost to your network means you may not be able to give your shareholders that little extra so that they can order that late night I pod as a treat for themselves.

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      It could also be that investing more money in the network isn’t really possible, when posties are asking for unaffordable defined benefit pensions to continue.

      Nobody else thinks defined benefit pensions based on salary and length of service are affordable, but the CWU. Well … not really even them as they’re closing three of their own DB pension to future accruals (as they’re unaffordable) and replacing them with less generous ones. Isn’t that what the CWU is objecting to the Royal Mail doing?

      Just a thought.

    • james
      2 years ago


      you make a few good points, but i think both sides of this debate will find, when talking to a customer, the most important factor is what they think they can get out of you.

      ask the sales team, and customers all tell them price is the most important.
      ask the shipping team, and quick despatch is what customers demand.
      ask the CS team, and tracking/quick delivery/free returns are most important.
      ask the postman and AM delivery is absolutely vital.
      ask a courier and in-flight changes are essential.

      people love to complain, who do they complain to? depends what they’re complaining about today, for many people, they will complain about everything to everyone, but they’ll at least tailor their rants to make it slightly relevent to the receiver, in your case: “you’re late”.
      – it’s only the raving lunatics that complain about prices to the courier, or ask the postman about return arrangements (and yes, i know lunatics do exist and do this stuff).

      customers say one thing and do the opposite, don’t just take it at face value, ask them to put their money where their mouth is. you want the post there guaranteed by 9am? there’s an option for that, nobody ever pays for it. and the actual cost bares little relevence on that, it could be 20p extra and 99% of people would take the free option.

      I’m also just hypothesising here, i may be completely wrong, but i imagine the vast majority of people you speak to on your rounds fall into a particular category, more likely to be at home during the day? and not necessarily an accurate reflection of the country as a whole.

  • @gevans
    2 years ago

    I think it’s time to put the majority of posties views out there as I am not reading anything that’s reasonable. Firstly most posties work overtime on a regular basis. A lot are doing 39 hour jobs but are on 32 or 25 hour contracts.some have been doing this for years but RMG refuse to increase their contracts so their holiday pay is at the basic rate. Not reflective of the hours they work regularly. I believe there is a European employment against this that RMG ignores.
    2nd. Most of us understand the need for later delivery of parcels as the likes of Next, Very,Littlewoods, john Lewis etc want their customers to receive their order the next working day. The result of this will be people employed on zero or short hour contracts and then pressured to work longer and longer hours without the benefit of a decent contract.
    3rd. We know that the pension needs to change to an affordable one. All we are asking for is a fair one . One where we don’t work have to work for 45 years to end up in poverty when we retire.
    4th. All we want is a decent pay rise annually . I personally believe the CWU on this issue are excessive. The current offer is based on performance targets but we posties know RMG will set these targets impossibly high so they only have to give the minimum rise each year..
    To sum up ask yourself this., If your employer insists that you work extra hours every week but won’t improve your contracted hours to reflect this, slashes your pension when you know that if they introduce it’s new working week it’s profits would soar, change your hours of work , and in return offer you less money than you are on now . WHAT would you do?

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      So the overtime that’s done regularly … is that at normal pay, or at a higher rate? People know they’re on a fixed salary at holiday time … budget better to cover the drop in salary. I don’t earn anything when I go on holiday (the curse of being self-employed) but I save and budget to ensure I can still pay the bills when I go away.

      A fair pension that avoids poverty? Have you been paying in extra to your pension? Additional contributions? No? Well why should Royal Mail make up for your lack of personal responsibility for your future. It’s not like DB pensions haven’t been closing for decades elsewhere … why did you think RM would leave theirs open forever? Would a bit of forethought not have suggested that perhaps some forward planning for retirement would be wise, rather than assume Royal Mail would look after you forever (when no other organisation outside the Public Sector is still doing that)?

      You don’t have to do overtime every week … a company can’t force you (I’m sure there’s a Union that can advise you of that fact if you ask).
      Slashing your pension? What’s better … a pension that’s affordable but smaller, or driving Royal Mail into a loss where job losses are necessary?
      Offer you less money? Where is that piece come from? Last time I heard the Union was asking for inflation busting payrises?

  • allan lake
    2 years ago

    Yes I will say one thing .
    It’s about pensions .
    When wel have worked a long time for
    The post office .
    Well get a pension the same as any one
    Who has not worked at all and does not
    What to work and has not put any think in to it
    We have and we get the same as them .
    It’s not right is it .
    So I think we should get more for all hard work we have put in it .
    So think about that and call us lazy
    All the big cats at the top get a big pensions
    It’s not right is it

    • Northumbrian
      2 years ago

      So your working just for a pension and don’t have a salary ?

  • allan lake
    2 years ago

    Yes we do have a salary.
    And yes we have a say in all this
    Should not royal mail take note of the result and do some think about it and not go to court so we can all go to work happy
    With things and we work hard for that not sit on our backsides and except to pay for dieting that

    • BigRich
      2 years ago

      Should they take note? Sure.

      Should they give you a 10%+ pay rise that is unaffordable when all of your competitors are cheaper than you? Should they give you a pension that puts the profitability of the company, and your long term job prospects at risk? No!

      Posties seem to think the Royal Mail exists to give you a comfortable pension and pay rises whenever you ask for one. It doesn’t.

      It exists to deliver a postal service, to a customer base that has a wide array of other (and cheaper) options to achieve their parcel delivery needs. Giving you an massive payrise, and/or an unaffordable pension, means the company makes no profit but makes a loss. To keep you all employed, it can’t afford to do that in the long term, so prices have to go up. Customers will balk and go to competitors, and Royal Mail will take a pummelling in the market, shrink dramatically with job losses galore, and end up being bought by someone else (for whatever remains of the network and the name). That is not a great option for anyone.

  • northumbrian
    2 years ago

    yes of course the work force have a voice,but its management’s responsibility to run the business, the tail should not wag the dog

  • allan lake
    2 years ago

    Don’t forget the post office could of sorted this out a long time ago .
    So it would have not come to this and we not be we’re are would we .
    And I do not think .
    That you understand things that are going on with them .
    And pay rise was due earlier this year so that is late .
    And we do need a pay rise to keep with things food heating and bills to pay out

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