Royal Mail Group Strike – Why CWU members are taking action

“Our members are striking for a pay rise that fully addresses the current cost of living. Our members need it, our members deserve it – the company can afford it.”

By the CWU

Why is the CWU in dispute with Royal Mail over pay?

Our Royal Mail members have had an unagreed 2 per cent pay deal imposed on them.

This is at a time when RPI inflation is currently running at 11.8 per cent and when Royal Mail has announced Group profits of £758 million and when the company is paying out many millions to private shareholders.

In a national strike ballot over pay, our Royal Mail members voted by a 97.6 per cent majority to take action.

This action will take place on Friday 26th and Wednesday 31st August and then Thursday 8th and Friday 9th September.

What do our Royal Mail members want?

The pay dispute is not complicated.

Our members are striking for a pay rise that fully addresses the current cost of living.

Our members need it, our members deserve it – the company can afford it.

Is the CWU in dispute with Royal Mail over other issues as well?

Our Royal Mail members have also voted by 98.7% on a 72.2% turnout for strike action in defence of our Pathway to Change national agreement.

What is the Pathway to Change agreement?

On 16th March last year, after lengthy, detailed and comprehensive national negotiations, DGSP Terry Pullinger for the CWU and CEO Simon Thompson for the company jointly signed off the document Key Principles Framework Agreement – The Pathway To Change 2021.

As it states in its opening sentences…

‘We all know that our industry is in a time of unprecedented change and this brings with it enormous opportunities to achieve the ambitions of our previous agreements and deliver growth in customer services, jobs and revenue.
To make this happen we must now rebalance the focus and resources within the RMG operation from declining letters to a rapidly growing parcels market, creating a more efficient business that is better aligned to the changing needs of customers.’

…and so therefore this union needs no lectures from the Royal Mail senior leadership as to the nature of this current period, as to the changing needs of customers, as to what is necessary and as to what must be done.

Just below the Introduction, the first part ‘proper’ of the document begins by explaining that…

‘The key principles set out below will enable change to take place in a mutually beneficial way. These principles will shape our future and act as an ongoing reference point for the more detailed programme of work RMG and CWU will now jointly undertake.’

…and the document continues, through nine sub-sections, covering every function of the business, setting out how change is to be discussed, decided upon, implemented, deployed, reviewed and improved.

So why is there a dispute over these issues?

The Royal Mail company leadership has reneged on the Pathway to Change agreement’s Key Principles and has begun to impose changes without negotiation and without agreement.

Is the CWU opposed to change?

No, the CWU is actively in favour of change. We want to change this Great British company together and by consent. This is why the union is so determined to defend our mutually agreed Pathway to Change.

Featured image: Royal Mail picket, Alexander Bain House, Glasgow CWU. Photo credit: CWU twitter

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