Postal union reveals new strikes as ACAS talks flounder

Royal-Mail-postbox2This week’s talks between Royal Mail and the CWU appear to have done little to settle the postal dispute – despite calls from the direct mail industry – with the union rejecting a new deal and instead announcing it will stage further strikes on the busiest online shopping days in the run-up to Christmas.

On Monday, the CWU cancelled action planned for this week and next after agreeing to meet with management at conciliation service ACAS to try to find common ground.

Royal Mail said it had proposed a new pay-for-change offer to the CWU worth 9% over two years, despite making a loss of £219mln in the first half of the year. However, the CWU claimed members had been offered 7% over two years.

Describing the offer as “derisory” and a “dramatic real-terms pay cut” with inflation at 10%, the CWU announced its members will now walk out on November 24 and Black Friday (November 25), as well as two days after Cyber Monday, on November 30 and December 1.

The CWU said its postal executive will meet on November 3 to discuss new actions in the run up to Christmas.

The union claimed Royal Mail’s proposed deal includes “introducing Uber-style owner-drivers, mail centre closures and changes to Sunday working”.

General secretary Dave Ward added: “Posties are in the fight of their lives against the Uberisation of Royal Mail and the destruction of their conditions. But 115,000 of our members will not just accept this war on their livelihoods and their industry.

Royal Mail urged workers not to strike at the “busiest time of the year” and added: “The CWU is playing a dangerous game with its members’ jobs and the future of Royal Mail. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

Earlier this week, the direct mail industry urged both sides to find a settlement before it is too late for many firms.

One insider told Decision Marketing: “This dispute has gone on far too long and ultimately there will be no winners; only losers. The direct mail industry has suffered enough, and this industrial action, following so soon after Covid, could be the nail in the coffin for many firms. For the sake of the sector, we need a settlement and we need it now – before it kills us.”

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