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CWU Postal Strikes look increasingly unlikely for 2018

By Chris Dawson January 2, 2018 - 12:50 pm

We’ve been adding up the numbers according to our estimated Royal Mail and CWU Mediation Process Timeline and whichever way we add up the weeks there’s nothing stopping the CWU from now calling postal strikes should they wish to.

So far as we can tell, the legal restrictions imposed by the mediation agreement ran out on or around the 27th of December and the CWU have their mandate for strikes from the ballot which took place at the beginning of October.

However there are a number of mitigating circumstances which could make it very unlikely that postal strikes will happen before the ballot validity runs out – strikes have to be held within 6 months which means if there is no industrial action by March a new CWU ballot would be required.

Most importantly Christmas has been and gone. Up until 2009, the CWU called postal strikes ever two years but always in the run up to Christmas. It’s the time of year when the public are most concerned about their post and frankly calling strikes in January when all most people are expecting are their credit card bills isn’t going to have the same emotional response as cancelling Christmas when the presents don’t arrive.

The other interesting wrinkle is the mediators recommendation that the CWU and Royal Mail join forces to lobby parliament for legislation to allow a ‘collective defined contribution’ pension scheme which currently wouldn’t be allowed in the UK. This appears to be a compromise that both the CWU and Royal Mail could sign up to, so suddenly the two adversaries are on the same side.

Strikes could of course still take place, the CWU have said “We have reminded Royal Mail Group that we are still in dispute and we will not hesitate to serve notice for industrial action if we suspect, at any moment, that we are losing impetus or that progressive talks have stalled or are going backwards”.

On balance however, we’re optimistic that we’ll get through the first quarter of the year without any disruption to the UK’s postal service.

  • alan paterson
    2 weeks ago

    Good to hear but the damage has already been done. Almost all the sellers I network with have switched to companies like Hermes over Christmas. Many of these businesses won’t even consider going back to Royal Mail out of principle. Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.

    • Rick
      2 weeks ago

      Totally foolish and inept comments without getting the facts before airing your “opinion”. Look into the reasons why the postal workers were balloted for industustrial action – and when I say look that means every single one of the reasons and then realise how stupid your comments really are. People like you are half the problem – stirring the pot without getting the real facts.

  • Carl Maden
    2 weeks ago

    Alan Paterson,

    If someone attempted to attack your company by attacking your earnings, your pension, your “guarantees” in contracts with your customers, you would also want to protect your business and fight back.

    The Postal Workers Union, Communication Workers Union, held 18 months of negotiation to prevent the ballot for the strike. Therefore, there were 2 choices, accept the changes to current and future earnings which would cost people thousands of pounds per year, which would have been handed over to Shareholders and be under incessant attack every year OR stand up and protect the Terms and Conditions and force the business to negotiate.

    This is not about unacceptable demands from the Union, it is about protecting negotiated terms and conditions and ensuring decent employment standards for working people, not allowing the race to the bottom, ‘the Gig economy’.

    Without Trade Unions, working people won’t have a say. It is not about using businesses as leverage to get our own way, it is about protecting what we have.

    • SAM
      2 weeks ago

      Hermes are a company set up for the GIG economy, we never use them. We would like to see the Postal Workers paid properly also.
      Still we do not want strikes however, that only plays into Amazons hands, and that is not good for anyone.

  • Chris
    2 weeks ago

    I think he work for hermes after that comment. We are just trying to get what we were promised

    • Alan Paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ Chris, no I work for myself. I thought that was clear. Or are you one of those idiots who automatically thinks that you work for a company just because something positive is said. Kinda shows up the culture here.

  • Leader of the Banned
    2 weeks ago

    Well said Carl. As annoying & inconvenient as they can be at times we should always support the unions.

    Hermes may be cheaper but wait until one of their guys is ill & your parcels are not picked up or delivered on time. I booked a pick up on Friday for Saturday…waited in all day…nobody came. Re booked for Monday again no show….can’t book for collection today so now I have to wait until Tomorrow. And I am in London!

    RM are my first choice for large letters & small packets. Otherwise it’s UPS.

    Hermes are not as reliable as most other couriers due to their business model. Lots of them are teenagers who don’t go in on Monday due to their hangovers. This is why Hermes are cheap.

    Royal Mail do a great job most of the time.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 weeks ago

      Not my experience at all with Hermes. Over 100,000 packets I have sent though them. Your problem must be local but I am sorry to hear that you have not had a good experience with them.

      Again, they dont try to stuff up my business at peak periods. If they do mess up – its an accident or error.

      Did i not make myself clear in the first message? Royal Mail is not the problem – its the postman and the union that decide these strikes – RM try to stop them. Oh dear you really do have things back to front.

  • Alan Paterson
    2 weeks ago

    You have completely missed my point. I didnt say not to fight for what you believe to be unjust – just dont use my bloody business to do it.

    Almost every SME that I know have came away from Royal Mail and are currently using your competitors. Has cost Royal Mail a fortune…….but i suppose that was the aim.

    Read my point first before “going off on one”. I am all for supporting people fighting for they believe to be “right” but using my business as leverage is just plain wrong. If you cant see the collateral damage that your actions cause then you are in a “bubble”.

    Anyway i am sure my “new” (actually I have been using Hermes for years) carriers wont go on strike, or even threaten to go on strike lol. I am not saying they dont have other issues but they dont turn round and intentionally try to stuff up my business at a peak period.

  • Darren
    2 weeks ago

    Alan Paterson the world isn’t all about money and business,it really grinds my gears when people are used as pawns in the game to make people rich,the world is a very sad place at the moment with a lot of horrible people about.I don’t work for any of these companies either ,people strike because they feel let down,used,undervalued and like most people these days underpaid. I’m not in any union either but any man or women willing to strike for what they believe in has my full support. so maybe alan sit back and think for a few minutes is a human being worth more than money,selfishness is such a horrible trait.

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ Darren, yes but when the workers demand conditions and persistently damage the business so that it becomes unviable / starts running at a loss then no one wins. This business closes (or is bought over) and ultimately conditions become worse or the worker becomes unemployed. Having run my own large (fish) business I see this from both angles. Yes, workers are important but it is also important for them to reiprocate and try and support their employer / business in hard times. Workers now-a-days just kick the business while it is down. Durning times of recession (or to try and get out of recession) sometimes we got to knuckle down and get on with it. This country has turned into a bunch of wooseies.

      You are completely failing to see the big picture here.

  • 2 weeks ago

    I may stand corrected by Mr P for this (or someone else), but I thought the strike was all about workers rights, pay and conditions, so I currently fail to see how it has anything to do with “Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.”???????

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      well, if you don’t understand the strategies that are being employed to achieve the goal – then I don’t think you should be making comments.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Mr P, I have every right (the same as you do), to post a relevant comment on any blog post I like. Perhaps, instead of telling me that YOU think I shouldn’t be posting comments on here, you could perhaps take the time to point me in the right direction? If it doesn’t take up too much of your time that is? Bearing in mind, that you’ve taken time out of your OWN day, to post a comment here.

  • alan paterson
    2 weeks ago

    I would love to be able to “educate” but we need to assume at least a bit of knowledge or insight on the subject.

    I do take your point though and you are correct – I did assume that folk knew how the workers and CWU were deliberately choosing a time to cause maximum disruption and therefore maximum attention to their cause.

    Its small businesses like myself who would normally suffer this strategy if it were not for alternatives like Hermes (I use Hermes as an example only because I have chosen them as an alternative and they are working out reasonable well for me with no threats of strikes etc).

  • Sam
    2 weeks ago

    I work for royal mail you wanna see our so called competitors bringing all mail to us because they cannot cope silly mr p

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @Sam. You assume I don’t know what I’m talking about. I send over 200 parcels every day. You are just being childish now. Hermes (I have repeatedly used as an example) DO NOT come to Royal Mail to delivery their packets. Now I know you have had arrangements with some companies in the past (TNT) but you are showing your ignorance with such comments. The postman who come here to deliver and collect are also ignorant of their own organisation. Don’t lecture me on how things work. I was in the Mail Centre and the platform every day for years. There was a time I was spending over £5000 per week with Royal Mail – don’t think for a min I don’t know how the system works.

      Your response is pathetic. Small minded ignorant people resort to name calling when they can’t hold an argument.

      You make comments about Hermes at beginning of this thread. I think I am more qualified to comment sending so many packets every day.

  • 2 weeks ago

    Mr P,
    “the workers and CWU were deliberately choosing a time to cause maximum disruption and therefore maximum attention to their cause”

    Not saying you’re wrong, but do you have concrete proof of that?
    I’d also point out, that if the workers have a genuine grievance, you’d think they’d want the maximum attention in order to achieve the best for their case, would you not?

    “I use Hermes as an example only because I have chosen them as an alternative and they are working out reasonable well for me with no threats of strikes etc”

    How little you appear to know! Watch out for potential changes in the next couple of months or so, is all I’m going to say!

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ Richie well, I have been told that before. implications that “I know something you don’t…….” or “changes are afoot…….”. is that meant to be scary / ominous? All been said before. Guess what? Nothing happens. Been getting told that for years and if you actually knew anything surely you would present your case rather than the (rather familiar) ambiguity.

  • 2 weeks ago

    You know Mr P, I find it quite funny the references you have made about the Hermes delivery firm:

    “Almost all the sellers I network with have switched to companies like Hermes over Christmas. Many of these businesses won’t even consider going back to Royal Mail out of principle. Postman trying to use businesses like mine as leverage to get their own way.”

    Hermes are one of the worst courier firms out there, for the way they treat their staff (especially the self-employed ones, or should I say bogus self-employed). You refer to postmen trying to use businesses like yours as leverage to get their own way, but have you considered courier firms themselves, who exploit THEIR own staff, for their own ends?

    Oh, and Sam wasn’t ‘name calling’, he just referred to you as ‘silly’. That’s NOT name calling, it’s doing the same thing that you have been doing on here, by calling someone an ‘idiot’ was it?

  • David Whitley
    2 weeks ago

    We didn’t vote to strike likely it was a turnout of about 80% of the membership with a yes vote of nearly 90% that in itself says alot we voted yes to protect our pensions to protect the service please know the facts before spouting rubbish

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ David, yes but there is far more to it than meets the eye. surely you realise this. Why is it then that almost every strike over the past 30 years has been scheduled just before Christmas. This is to cause maximum exposure, maximum damage to get that exposure at the busies time of year. Admittedly that strategy used to work in the past – but now now. Times have changed and strategies like this (especially when so many businesses rely on mail order now) only turn the public against you. Before (back in 70s, 80s and 90s) the majority would rally round but not now – you only get support from a minority as more and more families rely on a carrier service. The result ? RM competitors are rubbing their hands.

  • Darren
    2 weeks ago

    MR P 5000 pounds a week, small fish, a domestic customer for royal mail ,if you know royal mail big business always comes first your probably better off sticking with the very small delivery company of hermes as your parcels will always be bottom of the pile with royal mail.Nobody cares about small business ,doesn’t feel nice does it when you know people don’t actually care 🙁

    • alan paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ Darren, lol – I see you are taking the “job mentality “: approach to try and bring me down because I only used to spend £5000 a week. You see, you have completely missed the point. As an SME I am rather proud that I kept it to only £5k per week. People in jobs seem to always get it back to front.

      However, if you look at the breakdown of the revenue with SME in Royal Mail and see the percentage of businesses such as mine you would see that your point is completely without validity and only serves to strengthen mine.

      You are very arrogant to tell me that nobody cares about my business. Very arrogant indeed. I do in fact get regular calls from my RM account manager trying to get my business back to RM and away from Hermes. Sales calls wanting my business are regular and there is excellent support with many companies.

      Do not presume to know – particularly when you are not “in the know’.

      I laugh at many of the posts on here. keyboard warriors who are failing to see the bigger picture or presume to tell me mine.

  • Paul
    2 weeks ago

    CORRECT

    • Ross K
      2 weeks ago

      Not correct Paul. You guys are not seeing the big picture. I agree with Paterson above . It might be an unpopular chain of thought but it IS the facts . I get it. I assume most of you are posties you have blinkers on . I thought I would give you some support again Alan. It was looking like you were a voice in the wilderness again. You are not. Keep up the good posts.

  • northumbrian
    2 weeks ago

    get real posties
    listen to those who keep you in a job
    you can swing your willies as much as you like alternatives are available

  • lotus nut
    2 weeks ago

    Darren
    For every big business there are 100’s of small and medium bussinesses, large ones have cheaper rates than small/medium so make less profit!.
    Could you also explain how royal mail but big business first?

    I also use hermes for some of my parcels as rm have max length of 90cm, hermes will take much large parcels and cheaper with better loss/damage compenstion.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ lotus nut – you make a very good point and a very direct and interesting question. However, Darren seems to be side stepping it and continuing at me. Would be interesting if he trys to answer your question. how about it Darren?

  • Darren
    2 weeks ago

    Mr P just because you get a call centre call to get your business back doesn’t mean they care i get calls to come back to different insurance companies every year. 1000,s of 5000,s makes a lot of money,what i was trying to say in a delivery office big companies like amazon will always get delivered as priority,they can afford to lose you but not multi million pound ones. As an SME i do admire you but don’t kid yourself that Royal Mail care and come to that hermes or the rest of them probably don’t either. You may look after your customers but the bigger the company gets the less they care about the small man and more about the man spending the most and that is fact and how the world works today. Back on topic of the postal strike the posties probably dont care about you or your business they are more worried about their own jobs ,pay and working conditions,so i can assure you there is 120,000 workers not thinking about you,so stop your keyboard antics go off to hermes and get over it.

    • Alan Paterson
      2 weeks ago

      @ Darren – i am soooo sorry Darren – you seem to know everything about my business AND Royal Mail. I bow to you massive intellect and knowledge. I didnt realise you were so experienced at self employment. From your initial posts I thought you were in a job or even a postie. I am soooo sorry. You also seem to have supernatural powers and be able to tell what other other people and organisations think about my business. I genuinely did not realise that businesses could not give a damn about me. I must expose my RM account manager (who I have had a rapport with for 7 years) when he next calls. How dare he pull the wool over my eyes like that! And here is me in work 12 hours a day……for past 20 years doing mail order – and I didnt even realise! Completely escaped me. Thank you, thank you for the education and for opening my eyes to what is actually happening in my own business – I would never have thought it without your insight……

      [ I AM PRACTICING MY SARCASM – HOW AM I DOING ROSS? SARCASM CONTINUES…………]

      Please be sure to give me a call if ever you are in need of work. You have such insight and you are such a positive thinker. I am sure you will be a real ass-ett to my business. From your previous posts i genuinely thought you were a low paid menial worker with absolutely no insight and a miopic view on business and how the economy works. Oh dear, how wrong can one be……….

      Oh and thank you for pointing out how selfish I am (your post at beginning of thread) . The 3 families I am supporting at the moment as an employer …… along with my 10% charity donations of net income. Maybe i should double that. I did not realise this was not enough and I was being selfish. I will endeavour to double that to 6 families and 20% by end of 2018 – it will be my New Year Resolution.

      Thank you, thank you for your insight to my business and personality.

      [END SARCASM]

  • Ross K
    2 weeks ago

    Your are coming on well with sarcasm. Works for me, couldn’t have put it better.

    It’s a bit shocking. This dude Darren seems to work for RM . If you read his posts he is describing (first hand) what happens in the delivery office . If this is the case this is a shocking illustration of how postman attack their own employer. He is repeatedly trying to convince you that RM don’t care. Now whether that’s true or not it is pathetic that an employee would attack his employer like that. If it were my business I would be looking at ways of firing him lol. Many postman seem to be hell bent in biting the hand that feeds them . Many show absolutely no loyalty to their employer .

  • Darren
    1 week ago

    Hi Mr P lovely bit of writing ,i think ill pass on the offer of a job ,you sound like the type of employer to avoid,your probably working 12 hours a day because you spend most of your days on the internet pretending to know the thoughts of strikers. And Ross your half way there i have worked for delivery companies before not royal mail thou but i have friends that do,at the moment i work for a small engineering company,i have come to realise working for small and big you are always just a number to help the ceo achieve his dreams of being wealthy and successful,nothing wrong with that as long as you don’t take advantage of the people helping you get there,and i’m afraid that happens more often these days as greed takes over. I did see a program the other day of a small business bucking the trend and all his employees were paid £10 an hour ,all had 6 weeks holiday,all had their birthday off and even paid for family days out,and would you believe they all loved working there and worked hard for him and they all shared in the success,sadly this rarely happens.On the Royal Mail my friend who actually works there and has first hand knowledge describes it as the amazon model where they drive you into the ground and anyone who questions it they try to sack them,so yes i am with the strikers and Ross you sound like one of those managers.So i’ll always support the people who are being downtrodden in life i just hope you pair aren’t those type who think paying a wage entitles you to abuse a fellow human being,

  • 1 week ago

    Alan Paterson ,do you do any work at all,you seem to be on this blog all the time.i wish us posties have time on our hands like you,get a real job and stop complaining about people who work a lot harder than you.SARCASM at its best.

  • 1 week ago

    As for Ross k, just another ignorant individual who seems to know how every worker in the world should act when their livelihoods are at stake.you say Darren works for Royal Mail,but you sound like you work for Royal Mail management talking about firing people.Thank god we still have unions to protect workers rights,because with people like you in charge unemployment would quadruple overnight.As for saying we have no loyalty to our employer,it is because we are constantly having our jobs destroyed by greedy underhand management whom line their own pockets with bonuses while trying to grind their workforce into the ground.royal mailDONT CARE about their workforce,only about shareholders who I think you sound like one.you and Alan p need to head to the nearest desert island where your comments can’t be heard.I eagerly wait for your clever remarks and witty replies,pair of comedians(in your own heads).

  • Jim
    7 days ago

    Alan as usual your on here to insult everyone and make them angry with your ridiculous posts.

    You can’t be that clever if you think Hermes is a decent postal service when they are one of the worst.

    And before you slam me for not knowing anything about this subject please know that we send out 2000+ parcels a day out with Royal Mail.

    Do everyone a favour and keep your silly posts in your head and leave them off the keyboard.

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