CWU to Royal Mail – ‘you can afford it, so pay up’

Postal, Royal Mail Group (EMP)

Lively workplace meetings send loud & clear message to company bosses as our DGSP broadcasts to the nation…

“Our members are lions and if you prod the lion it will attack,” warned Terry Pullinger in his Facebook Live interview this morning.

Speaking just after Royal Mail Group released its annual financial results showing a Group-wide operating profit of £758 million, our deputy general secretary postal insisted that this proved beyond doubt that the business “absolutely can afford a pay rise.”

The union has been seeking to negotiate a straightforward, ‘no-strings’ salary increase for hard-working Royal Mail Group (RMG) members in recognition of their fantastic efforts during the pandemic and also to mitigate the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. But so far, the only proposals from the RMG leadership have been considerably below inflation and have also been attached to various productivity and operational change demands.

During his discussion with CWU head of comms Chris Webb today, Terry made the point once again that all of the operational-change and productivity issues are already comprehensively covered off within the Pathway to Change national agreement.

The union has repeatedly pointed out to the company that it is already working through all of this – in delivery, in the operational pipeline and across all other functions,  There are a range of joint working groups dealing with the change agenda – and the CWU accuses Royal Mail Group leadership of using the prospect of ‘strings attached’ as a tactic in order to tie up and delay the 2022 pay settlement.

Terry sharply criticised recent communications from RMG chairman Keith Williams and CEO Simon Thompson – in particular taking issue with attempts by the company leadership to portray the business in a negative light and also the claims that the figure of £416m is the more appropriate one in this circumstance.

“These profits – even if it’s £416m – are a massive turnaround from when they were predicting potential losses of £500m,” said Terry, recalling conversations with RMG chiefs in early 2020 and 2019.

“All of that profit has been delivered by ordinary working people delivering massive amounts of letters and parcels. Our members have clearly done brilliant. The problems they faced were like mountains and our members went up them. This is a growth market and we’re the biggest service provider in the UK. So, no we’re not in crisis and there’s so much to be achieved.”

The attitude of senior management was, he continued, “extremely disappointing. They’re insulting our members and insulting this fantastic public service.”

To shareholders, Terry invited them to contact him to hear the union’s side of the debate and the CWU’s commitment to change and growth – and to the RMG leadership, our DGSP said: “If you think we’re going to sit back and accept not getting straight pay deal this year, then you’re in cloud cuckoo land.”

Last week and this week, CWU reps have been holding lively workplace meetings and both Chris and Terry thanked and praised members for their hard work and for their determination and unity.

“It’s great to see the photos and video snaps from so many workplace meeting,” said Chris.

Follow our socials to keep up to date on all union activity: