Royal Mail Group Dispute – Joint Statement – March 2023.
Joint statement from Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU): talks extended
Negotiations under a new process between the senior leadership of both RMG and the CWU facilitated by Brendan Barber (former TUC General Secretary and ACAS Chair) supported by Marina Glasgow (Chief Conciliator of ACAS) have been taking place.
Talks continued this weekend. Progress has been made in some areas and it has been agreed to extend the talks into this week.
Both parties reiterate the importance of the full adherence to the joint statement and appendix agreed on Thursday 2nd March and the need for workplace tensions to be reduced. Both parties confirm that, as agreed, local disagreements on revisions will be referred to the fast track escalation process set out in the Annex to the joint statement and that any unagreed changes will not be implemented during this process.
We will update you as soon as we can.
Branches, Representatives and members will be aware that the Union have been involved in a new process of negotiations involving Board members and crucially these talks have been facilitated by Sir Brendan Barber. The previously agreed Joint Statement indicated we would seek to reach an agreement by Sunday 12th March.
Whilst it is fair to say that progress has been made, it is evident more time is required to bring these negotiations to a successful conclusion. In this regard, we have agreed the Joint Statement, above that confirms a time extension for talks to continue this week.
February 2023 – National Get The Vote Out Day.
Ballot Results – Here.
There is no doubt this has been the most bitter and complex dispute in our history. 3 ballots, 18 days of
strike action and we have stood up against the most brutal attack on workers in the UK for many decades.
The ongoing ballot is the most important vote of your working lives.
If we are able to deliver a massive yes vote and turnout, then we will go on to win this dispute – this has to be our absolute focus.
Over the weekend we received correspondence from Royal Mail Group’s legal representatives challenging the strike action we have called across the 16th/17th February. Having discussed this with our lawyers they have advised that we could defend our position in court.
However, they have also advised that given the laws in this country are heavily weighted against working people, the risks of losing in court may potentially impact on the re-ballot – we simply cannot allow this happen.
On this basis the Postal Executive do not believe it is worth risking the status of the new ballot to defend a ballot mandate that expires on 17th February. Instead, we have agreed the following steps:
• We will not be taking strike action on 16th / 17th February
• The focus of the whole union must remain on winning the ballot
• We will re-enter negotiations with Royal Mail Group this week
• If talks fail, we will significantly step up the programme of strike action
• The union will shortly announce details of a formal strike fund
This rush to the courts by Royal Mail Group is the latest in a long list of deliberate, sustained and coordinated attacks on you:
• Executive action in the workplace
• Suspension and dismissal of CWU representatives and members
• Relentless goading and intimidation online
You have risen above every single one of these actions and we know you will do the same now. We cannot allow Royal Mail Group’s blatant efforts to demoralise you and discredit the union, to distract us from the reality that the resolution to this long running dispute will be determined and settled by the outcome of the current vote.
Voting for and taking strike action is never easy but we have to be crystal clear. If you do not vote in this ballot, then Royal Mail Group count you as on their side. This means they see you as endorsing a
strategy which includes:
• The removal of the right to negotiate at local level – executive action is being taken across the UK. If we do not win this ballot, it will become standard practise
• Later starts in every function and business
• Open attacks, suspensions, and dismissals of CWU members and representatives
• Total flexibility – not knowing what you are doing on a daily basis
• Outsourcing – this has already started in Fleet and will not stop there
• Bringing back managers who received 2 years redundancy pay and handing them £40,000 for a 9-month contract
• A senior management team assembled from union busting backgrounds
• A company happy to openly mislead Parliament.
You are better than this.
IT IS THE DUTY OF EVERY SINGLE CWU MEMBER IN THE UK TO VOTE YES AND SPEND THE NEXT WEEK ENCOURAGING EVERY SINGLE COLLEAGUE IN THE UK TO DO THE SAME.
WIN THE BALLOT, WIN THE DISPUTE.
Solidarity, Dave Ward General Secretary
Andy Furey Acting Deputy General Secretary (Postal)
How did it get to this, see here.