CWU accuses Royal Mail of overseeing ‘evaporation of a national treasure’ – LabourList

Communication Workers Union general secretary Dave Ward has argued that Royal Mail are overseeing the “evaporation of a 500-year-old national treasure” after the union confirmed that four further days of strike action will go ahead.

The CWU said today that Royal Mail had ignored a “peace offer” from workers’ representatives to avert strikes scheduled in the coming days. Members took two days of strike action last week, and further walk-outs are planned for December 14th, 15th, 23rd and 24th.

The union said it set out “simple solutions” to end the dispute, specifically a back-dated pay deal of 9% over 18 months, a long-term job security commitment from Royal Mail bosses, a pause on “attacks” on union representatives and members and a “period of calm” for negotiations on the company’s future.

The CWU alleged that Royal Mail did not offer to meet with its representatives, instead sending the union a document via independent arbitration service ACAS. The union also accused the company of releasing a “strike-breaking video” on internal social media channels, which it said was “aimed at breaking workers’ morale”.

Ward said: “Today’s actions by Royal Mail CEOs show they couldn’t be less interested in resolving this dispute or saving Christmas – their sole intention is to destroy the livelihoods of over 115,000 postal workers and wreck the service they provide.

“Posties are facing an outright assault on their livelihoods and dignity and have no choice but to see this dispute through to its conclusion. The reckless, aggressive and bullying attitude from senior managers of this company is now totally out of control.

“When our members take strike action on Wednesday and Thursday, the question every media outlet should be asking is not why they’re striking, but why these people are being allowed to get away with the evaporation of a 500-year-old national treasure.”

According to the Mirror, Royal Mail has been using a staff website to criticise striking postal workers. In one post, chief executive Simon Thompson said: “Calling strike action at Christmas is terrible for our team’s income and our customers’ presents – that is bah humbug.”

Another post claimed that there had been an 84% increase in staff turnout on strike days. It added: “Thank you for delivering for our customers.”

Commenting on the reports, Royal Mail said the company has “zero tolerance for bullying or harassment” and claimed that “more than 10,000 Royal Mail colleagues chose to work on the last two days of industrial action”.

The CWU has previously accused Royal Mail of offering it “take-it-or-leave-it proposals”, which it said would result in the company being turned into a “gig economy-style parcel courier, reliant on casual labour”.

The union said Royal Mail’s proposals entailed thousands of compulsory redundancies, cuts to sick pay and “no job security commitments at all”. It also alleged that the company had proposed to introduce technology that will “monitor postal workers every minute of the day”.

Thompson has claimed that Royal Mail’s current pay offer would see postal workers receive “up to a 9% pay increase over 18 months alongside a host of other enhancements” and has described it as the company’s “best and final offer”.

Postal workers took two days of strike action in November, covering the busy shopping period of Black Friday. The CWU also led a series of walkouts over the summer, after members voted by almost 98% on a 77% turnout to take strike action.

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