CWU offers Royal Mail strike deal

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) has offered Royal Mail chiefs a deal aimed at averting the planned national strike.

The Union has written to Mark Higson, managing director of the Royal Mail offering a number of “compromises” (detailed below) that it hopes will “help restore customer confidence at a crucial time for the Royal Mail while addressing outstanding problems of job security, work levels, bullying, and reward”.

The CWU says if Royal Mail refuses its offer then strike dates will be announced on Thursday (15 October). The Union has to give seven days notice of any strike action, which means the strike could start 22 October.Royal Mail employees voted in favour of industrial action last week.

The proposed strike has prompted retailers including John Lewis, Amazon, eBay and Argos to discuss using alternative delivery services over fears that the strike will seriously disrupt business in the run-up to Christmas.

The CWU says it has also sent copy of the letter to organisations including the Direct Mail Association, Mail Users Association and British Chambers of Commerce to “to urge Royal Mail to reach an agreement”.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, says: “Postal workers do not want to have to take strike action, but neither are they prepared to put up with continuing attacks from a management which is failing.”

The CWU is says that it is copying the letter to organisations including the Federation of Small Businesses, Direct Mail Association, Mail Users Association and the British Chambers of Commerce “encouraging them to urge Royal Mail to reach an agreement”.

The CWU offer comprises of the following:-

– That Royal Mail will reveal its business plan for the whole of the planned transformation programme. This will create an open environment that will allow Royal Mail and CWU to reach a 3 year agreement aimed at providing long term stability for the business, employees and our customers.

– That Royal Mail recommit to the key principle which underpinned the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement i.e. that “change will be introduced by agreement”. This means Royal Mail will unequivocally agree planned 2010 change, including the rollout of new walk sequencing machines.

– That we agree, in principle, that improved Job Security arrangements and a new benefits package that rewards postal workers for delivering success for the business will form part of the final agreement.

– That Royal Mail agrees the principle that budgets should not drive staffing levels and that what constitutes a fair day’s workload will be based on transparent and agreed standards with the Union. We should jointly consider utilising independent experts in the field of work measurement to facilitate a resolution to all workload issues.

– That Royal Mail is prepared to step back from imposed change and resolve all current local disputes by agreement.

– That Royal Mail agrees to an independent enquiry into the bullying and harassment of postal workers and immediately ceases the use of unagreed HR procedures.

– That Royal Mail is prepared to jointly approach the Government on the urgent need to find a resolution to pensions and regulatory issues.

– That the national parties clear our diaries to allow for an intense period of negotiations to resolve all outstanding issues and conclude a comprehensive national agreement.

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