20 September 2007 CWU Announces Further Postal Strikes
The Communication Workers Union is announcing today (Thursday) that there will be further strike action in response to Royal Mail’s draconian and destructive proposals on pay and business changes. There remains no agreed pay deal, which was due on 1st April 2007, and the pay offer is linked to unacceptable propositions on flexibility and decreased pensions benefits. Royal Mail has announced the implementation of unagreed operational changes.
The CWU’s Postal Executive have agreed the following strike dates:
A 48 hour strike on the 5th & 6th October.
A 48 hour strike on the 8th & 9th October.
Week commencing 15th October a rolling programme of functional strikes to continue weekly until the resolution of the dispute.
Dave Ward, Deputy General Secretary, said: “Despite five weeks of negotiations Royal Mail have failed to take on board the union’s message that in order for the business to succeed Royal Mail need to invest in their workforce.
“Strikes are a proportionate response to an employer that is completely out of control. Rather than running the business, Royal Mail’s actions demonstrate they are intent on destroying it.
”The workforce has had enough of Royal Mail messing them around. We’re not going to tolerate an employer that ignores its workforce, ignores the union and ignores its customers.”
In the last week the company has announced the following:
Executive action on their pension proposals - Royal Mail will be communicating this to staff next week.
Executive action through the imposition of later starts on the 8th October.
Executive action through the imposition of network changes on the 23rd October.
Executive action through the cessation of Sunday Collections on the 28th October.
Executive action through the cessation of Employee Share of Savings scheme (ESOS) on the 10th October.
The union remains committed to reaching an agreement which benefits the business and employees and will continue talking to management.
My office Middlesbrough are now having a local ballot for strike action after Royal Mail told us that from October all our 2nd class mail will be going to Newcastle. They already have taken all our weekend work off us so I don't think it will be long before they close my office if the 2nd class goes.
This was in todays Mirror newspaper -
Post Office staff's share fury By Clinton Manning, Business Editor 27/09/2007
A row erupted last night over a £1billion "sweetener" for postal workers ahead of strikes.
Bosses were sending share certificates to 200,000 Royal Mail Group staff - claiming they could be worth up to £5,300 each if the business hits its targets over the next five years.
But the Communication Workers Union (CWU) dismissed the move as "jam tomorrow" and an attempt to buy off anger in the current dispute over pay and pensions.
Up to 130,000 postal workers are due to stage two 48-hour strikes next month.
And a senior CWU source said: "The timing is a cynical attempt to win the hearts and minds of postal workers.
"But our members will see through it. What they want is a decent wage rise today, not jam tomorrow."
Royal Mail Group, which also includes the Post Office and Parcelforce Worldwide, denied the share certificates were an attempt to influence the dispute.
A joint message from chief executive Adam Crozier and chairman Allan Leighton says: "It's a great opportunity - no company our size has a plan like this. Let's make the most of it. We can rise to the challenge."
Meanwhile, Royal Mail has been forced to cancel money-spinning contracts to deliver junk mail because of the strikes.
Settlement Agreed Saturday 13th October Update --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Royal Mail is pleased to report that negotiations with the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have been successful and a settlement has now been reached.
We apologise for the disruption and inconvenience the strikes have caused, and thank you for your ongoing patience through this difficult time.
We are now working hard to return to normal as quickly as possible, but there is a significant build-up of mail that will take some time to clear. We will deal with all mail in the order in which we received it, and will re-instate all service guarantees and promises as soon as we are able to honour them.
Unofficial strike action However we are very disappointed to report that some colleagues are currently taking unofficial strike action, in several parts of the country, which will inevitably lenghten our recovery period, and affect services in these areas. Please call our customer service helpline - 08457 950 950 for business customers and 08457 740 740 for residential customers - for the latest details.
I know that a few offices in London & Liverpool walked out after their duty times were changed.
There was also a walk out at my office after Royal Mail took off 4 days pay in one go when they should of just taken 2 days off 1 weeks pay and 2 the following week. As the strikes were spread out over 2 weeks.
Here is the latest from the CWU website. Looks like the strike paid off.
22 October 2007 CWU EXECUTIVE RATIFIES NATIONAL AGREEMENT
The CWU Executive today ratified a national agreement between the Union and Royal Mail.
That proposed agreement will now be subject to a full individual members’ ballot.
Dave Ward, Deputy General Secretary said: “This has been a long dispute but the agreement reflects the fact that change in the company will only be managed with the Union and the workforce. We have made significant gains on pay and related issues and the Union’s role in negotiating change in the workplace has been strengthened.
“Royal Mail’s aim at the outset of this strike was to remove the Union from the workplace and have a subservient workforce. The result of the dispute is a strong Union and a workforce whose opinions count. The members will have the final say on the proposed agreement.”
The key areas of the agreement include:
A pay rise of 6.9% over 18 months, coupled with a lump sum of £175 immediately and a further lump sum of £400 linked to local implementation of change.
(The dispute started with Royal Mail offering a pay freeze and then increasing their offer to 2.5%).
All flexibility and change will now be directly negotiated with the Union.
Flexibility now to reflect workers aspirations as well as the company’s and be subject to trials’.
No change to working hours without agreement.
All automation to be subject to further agreement with CWU.
The controversial subject of “covering one another” is now subject to national trials and agreement.
The agreement also includes productivity arrangements, attendance patterns including no change to Saturday attendances and network changes.
Any pension reform has been formally de-coupled from the pay agreement.
However, the Union has secured many key principles to take into a formal 90 day pensions’ consultation process. These principles include
Full protection of final salary to accrued service benefits The final salary scheme to be replaced for the future by a similar defined benefits scheme. The right to retire at 60 for existing scheme members. The option to take pension at 60 with un-reduced past service benefits and to continue working. The ability to negotiate a new scheme for new entrants. The existing accrued rates to be maintained. (1/80th and 1/60th)
On the subject of pensions Dave Ward, Deputy General Secretary said: “The company’s intention was to strip out £1.6billion from the pensions deficit by taking it directly from workers’ benefits. This has now been put back in and any proposals will be subject to further discussion with the Union and a separate ballot of the workforce at a later date”.
Glad to hear it worked out. Here in the states, a battle over pensions would probably wind up in court, where the judge would most likely take the employer's side. 6.9% in under two years is pretty good, too. You've a very good union there. Mine couldn't orchestrate a strike to save its life, though we're making headway on organizing.
"Changed times bring changed tunes." --Leon Trotsky, 1923