Royal Mail Strike Update – 06/11/2009

As Royal Mail industrial action is a very hot topic at the moment, we thought we would keep you updated on the proposed strike.

Latest movements of Royal Mail Postal Strike:

Updated 06/11/2009

Good news everyone! The Royal Mail strike were last night postponed until at least the new year.

It means Royal Mail services will be free of any disruption up to and during the Christmas period.

The Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have agreed on an agreement of a “period of calm” in which both parties could hold further talks to reach a long-term deal.

The agreement means the planned walk-outs today and on Monday will not go ahead. The CWU also put on hold legal action against Royal Mail over the employment of temporary workers.

Updated 04/11/2009

There is no sign of an ending to the postal strike, with planned walk-outs on Friday (6 November) and Monday (9 November) involving all 121,000 members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU).

The CWU is in the process of taking Royal Mail to the High Court, claiming the company breached employment law by adding 30,000 temprorary workers to handle the mail backlog.

This week it was disclosed that Adam Crozier, Royal Mail’s CEO, was given 26pc pay rise last year, taking his total annual salary to £1.25m.

Updated 02/11/2009

The talks between union leaders and Royal Mail will resume today to find a solution to the dispute over jobs, pay and modernisation.

The third round of 24 hour national strike is planned for Friday (6 November) and the following Monday (9 November). It is expected to involve all 121,000 members of the Communications Workers Union.

Updated 30/10/2009

Today, 400 workers who deal with badly addressed mails have walked out and will be followed by 77,000 delivery and colletion staff tomorrow.

The Convervative party is keen on the plan to entirelly privatise Royal Mail rather than the 30 percent stake that Business Secretary Lord Mandelson wants to sell. It also believes that more investors will be attracted if the union is to be defeated in the postal strike.

Updated 29/10/2009

In the early hours today, postal workers began three more days of national strikes after discussions in the last three days failed to provide a positive outcome.

  • Today 43,700 mail centre and distribution staff walked out
  • Tomorrow, Friday 30/10/2009, 400 workers who deal with badly addressed mails will walk out
  • Saturday 31/10/2009, 77,000 delivery and colletion staff will follow

Mark Higson, managing director of Royal Mail said: ”The union’s leadership appears to be split, with London members at odds with the rest of the country and unable to reach any decision.”

Updated 28/10/2009

Communication Workers Union (CWU) leaders will meet today to decide whether a new potal strike is to go ahead, only hours before the action is set to start.

Royal Mail and CWU have been negotiating for the past two days under the chairmanship of Trade Union Congree (TUC) and the talks were described as ”useful” by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber.

If the postal strike is to go ahead, its schedule will be:

  • Thursday: 43,700 staff in mail centres, drivers and garage staff
  • Friday: 400 workers who deal with badly addressed
  • Saturday: 77,000 delivery and colletion staff

Updated 27/10/2009

Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) will recommence discussions at the Trade Union Congress today to try to reach an agreement before Thursday’s planned second round of postal strikes which is expected to last over three days.

A CWU spokeswoman said it expected to decide today on whether to take legal action against Royal Mail in using 30,000 temporary workers to help with deliveries.

Royal Mail said yesterday that the volume of delayed mail caused by last week’s strike was expected to have fallen to 5m items.

Updated 26/10/2009

The talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are due be held today through the Trades Union Congress, which assisted the 2007 pay and modernisation agreement.

Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, warned the talks could be difficult: “If Royal Mail attend the talks and just simply reiterate their previous position, that won’t help. But if they come there genuinely seeking agreement, then I’m sure we can go forward.”

Updated 23/10/2009

About 42,000 mail centre staff and drivers walked out yesterday and 78,000 delivery and collection workers began the action at 4am today.

The next round of strikes is expected to last for three days at the end of next week with participation from different worker groups. This means more service disruptions and further increase in backlogs in the run-up to Christmas.

Updated 22/10/2009 Mail Post Strike Begins&attrib_url=

The first part of a two-day national strike has started in the early hours of today, with Mail Centres and Network Distribution Units workers walking out.

Experts said that the strike will create a three week backlog for Royal Mail to clear before postal services get back to normal.

Barely a quarter of Royal Mail’s 30,000 temporary workers will be able to start next week as Roya Mail is forced to make sure that all these workers are vetted carefully before they are allowed to handle any mail.

The current backlog of 9 to 30 million mail items is expected to jump up to 100 million after the strike.

Updated 21/10/2009

Final attempts to halt the nationwide post strikes have failed which means the Royal Mail strike will start at midnight tonight.

The strike will last for two days (Thursday and Friday), but the backlog means it will take the postal system much longer to recover.

Updated 20/10/2009

Union sources say there has not been any sign of a breakthrough ahead of the first of two 24 hour walkouts on Thursday.

Royal Mail says it is willing to proceed with the conciliation service Acas but only if the CWU call of their national strike.

CWU call for independent mediation has been backed by about 100 MPs and the Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.

The Ministry of Defence said they might lay on extra aircraft to make sure in-the-field troops get their Christmast post.

Updated 19/10/2009

The last ditch talks to avoid a national postal strike look quite hopeless as both parties refuse to give ground.

The CWU said it was considering legal action against Royal Mail’s plan to recruit 30,000 temporary staff for the coming Christmas holiday as well as to clear the backlog of undelivered post from this week national strikes.

TNT CEO Nick Wells said that the company would be keen to provide a rival service if it was financially viable. Up to now, the main obstacle which kept rivals out of the playing field for Royal Mail was the fact that it was exempt from paying VAT.

Updated: 16/10/2009

The Communication Workers Union has announced the intention to proceed two national strikes next week, following their recent ballot:

Thursday 22/10/2009: Mail centres, network distribution units and collection hubs around the country will be affected, resulting in limited process, movement and collection of ordinary mail.

Friday 23/10/2009
: Delivery offices in all areas will be affected, resulting in limited collection and delivery services and of all ordinary mail.

We will add to this blog post as news develops.