Monday, October 19, 2009

That postal strike: the facts

In th epre-blog days, it was always difficult to find out what a strike was about, because of the inability of the media to communicate facts.

Now we can look at the facts for ourselves. The Union sets out its case here:

What we are for: Fairness
· A new job security agreement - reflecting the sheers scale of change our members face. Sustainable full-time jobs, no compulsory redundancies, maximising choice over the future.
· Benefit from change - modern and enhanced terms and conditions. Higher pay, shorter working week, better attendance patterns providing more quality time away from work, including weekends.
· A better local working environment - work systems that ensure daily workload is based on fair and objective measurement so that postal workers can cope. Staff and CWU having a genuine say over how the job should be done.

What we are against: Unfairness
· Royal Mail imposing change by diktat - not honouring national agreements leading to a part-time industry and compulsory redundancies.
· Royal Mail constantly driving down terms and conditions - not giving workers a real share in the savings that are being made or the benefits from automation. Continuous driving down of pay, earnings, pensions and conditions.
· Royal Mail imposing unfair work rates to meet unrealistic local budget demands - chaos management creating workloads that people cannot cope with. A bullying managerial culture.

The Royal Mail management statement is here:

Royal Mail’s Managing Director, Mark Higson, said today: “In the first week of October, Royal Mail will have successfully completed the major efficiency changes planned for 2009, both nationally and in London, under the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement.

“This level of change is higher than has been implemented in any previous year and has been essential as a response to the accelerating decline in the number of letters – down around 10% against last year.

“The changes include the introduction of more flexible working as we respond to the changing marketplace and ensuring people work the hours for which they are paid, using the tools for the job such as new automated sorting equipment and handheld tracking devices. Taken together, this means that over 85% of mail is now walk sorted with Royal Mail on track to complete its modernisation plans, of which these changes mark the latest phase.

“As always, the company will be focusing on delivering excellent customer service over the vitally important run-up to Christmas when letter numbers reach their seasonal peak. Royal Mail calls on the CWU to abandon its unjustified strikes and to help the business deliver the service our customers deserve.

“We also again invite the union to re-engage with our agreed industrial relations framework at national and local level. We again urge the union leadership to continue talks with us about building a strong future for our business as we build on these changes and further modernise and improve efficiency through 2010 and beyond – in line with our transformation plan and the Pay and Modernisation Agreement.”

So that's all right then. They just need to sit down and negotiate. But will they? Answer, probably not until the service has been through a process of suicidal dispute.


Red Green Nick said...

Hi Richard,

The impression I have is that, it's all part of the plan to privatise the post office and to get rid of a pesky unionised workforce before Peter Mandleson sells it off to TNT.
A good article by a Postman here:

DocRichard said...

Conspiracy, eh? But how do we get the evidence? Privatisation is a mindset, a thought in the collective mind of the decision makers, it doesn't need a group sitting round a table plotting. Same goes fi=or the NHS. the NHS UberKommandants in Leeds are intent on privatising it, slice by slice, because they believe in indiviualism.

I must say that the Unions have a point about provocation; when the managers told them they must do 4mph on average, that was mad. Considering they had to stop and deliver mail every so often...

However, the strike will only hasten the demise of the PO. Better if the rest of us went on strike in sympathy, and they kept on working.

None of the above said...

Anyone caught trying to deliver post to my address and who isn't a Royal Mail postman will be politely asked to leave, with their post!

I suggest other readers do the same