Royal Mail and CWU Blame Each Other In Labor Standoff – Strike Action Will Continue As Planned

Royal Mail is ready to talk with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) to avoid a strike disrupting mail services in the UK later this month the company announced this week.

But, after failing to come to terms on a new contract, the CWU announced it intends to call upon its members to walk out for 24 hours on four days:

  • Friday, 26 August
  • Wednesday, 31 August
  • Thursday, 8 September
  • Friday, 9 September

The two sides are at odds over pay and modernization and the rhetoric isn’t promising.

Ricky McAulay, Operations Director, Royal Mail, said: “After more than three months of talks, the CWU have failed to engage in any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to modernize or to come up with alternative ideas.”

“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years. In a business that is currently losing £1 million pounds a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it, McAulay added.

In response today, the CWU said on Twitter: “CWU suspend meaningless talks on change with Royal Mail Group and call for [a] summit meeting with the Chair and CEO – VOTE YES”

Furthermore, in the video posted on Twitter, CWU Chief Dave Ward says that unless there is a substantial shift in position by Royal Mail on pay over the next week, the strikes will go on as planned.

Royal Mail and CWU Are Far Apart

It sounds like the two parties are far apart on contract terms and there is very little hope anything will change substantially over the next few days.

McCaulay added: “We [Royal Mail] have contingency plans in place and will be working hard to minimize disruption and get our services back to normal as soon as we can to keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

Despite the planned four days of strikes being spread out over a couple of weeks, they will impact mail services in the UK as the CWU represents over 100,000 Royal Mail postal workers.

Online merchants and sellers on marketplaces should prepare for disruptions and delays when using Royal Mail over the next few weeks.

Shippers from outside of the UK should also consider the impact this strike action will have on postal shipments.

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