Royal Mail Group Dispute

CWU members in Royal Mail took 18 days of strike action during the second half of 2022 over pay and unagreed changes to terms and conditions.

The first strike was on 26th August and the last strike of the year was on 24th December. Each action was solidly supported by some 115,000 postal workers in delivery, processing, distribution and all other functions, as well as members working in Parcelforce.

During this time, disciplinary actions against reps and activists by the company, its withdrawal from long agreed IR procedures and other national agreements, along with threats of compulsory redundancies only increased the anger felt by members and, far from breaking the strike, actually boosted the determination of postal workers to fight harder for a fair deal.

Since the end of 2022, however, the company has made what the union has described as “significant moves” towards a potential settlement of the dispute.

These include:

A pledge not to carry out any compulsory redundancies

A return to the pre-existing industrial relations framework

A full review of all disciplinary cases arising from the dispute

A commitment to meaningful negotiations during January with the aim of resolving the issues in dispute

On this basis, the union has decided not to call further strike actions at this time and to focus on engagement with these negotiations in good faith.

However, given that the initial strike ballot mandate is due to expire, the union called a second national industrial action ballot. The ballot was announced at a national CWU reps briefing earlier this month and ballot papers have now been mailed out to members, with the result due to be announced on 16th February.

Given the strategic importance of Royal Mail to the UK economy and society, the union has also been making sure that the broader issues around the postal service and its future are fully highlighted in Parliament.

Two Westminster Hall Debates, on 10th and 12th January, gave MPs the opportunity to debate and discuss the current state of UK postal services and the future of the USO, while a meeting of the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Select Committee, on 17th January, invited the CWU and the Royal Mail leadership to give evidence on these issues, on the dispute and on the management f Royal Mail.

Mr Thompson has, subsequently, been summonsed to re-appear before the Select Committee again, along with Royal Mail Chair Keith Williams.

Earlier this week, 23rd January, our CWU leadership met with major Royal Mail shareholders to explain the union’s concerns about the company and our vision for a positive future and answer shareholders’ questions.

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