Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,308
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14

    Royal Mail strike action in the UK

    As you probably know I work part time for Royal Mail in the UK. There is ongoing strike action over Pay, workers rights, working conditions and workers contracts.

    Royal mail is on strike again today and tomorrow, and will be on strike again next week for 2 days and further strike days every week in December. Many I know that work there have mortgages to pay and are getting to the point where they can't support ongoing strike action, so soon the union's strength to negotiate will fall as more cross the picket line to return to work.

    Yesterday Royal Mail offered a deal that included the offer of a 9% pay rise over the next 18 months. The CWU union instantly rejected it and said the strike would continue. Personally I think 9% was a very good offer considering the current economic situation globally. Especially as RM workers have had very poor pay rises in recent years such as 1.5%.

    The problem the union have is the conditions to accept this pay rise. But the reality is that the logistics and courier markets have changed. There is now a far greater focus on parcels, with the numbers of letters going through the system continuing to fall. It's a bit more complicated then that but that's the main reason for a need for change and a restructure of Royal Mail. I can expand on this if anyone is interested in knowing more.

    The union is also weak these days. Many years ago Royal Mail was the only mail service in the UK and enjoyed that position for over 350 years, being the oldest service in the world. But when the UK joined the EU they eventually forced the British government to change this, saying that the nationally owned mail service was a monopoly and the service needs to be opened up to tender. When this happened the alternative courier services cherry picked all the lucrative contracts from Royal Mail by undercutting them, and they had no way to fight this as Royal Mail prices were fixed by a regulator, whereas the independent couriers are not regulated. And because the shipping postagecprices were regulated Royal Mail couldn't adjust them to to losing their biggest revenue customers to competition, so the company started to make a lose, which eventually led to the argument that it was no longer a viable company to keep nationally owned, so it was privatised and sold off.

    When it was the only postal service the unions had axlot of power. They striked and the country's postal service ground to a halt. But now if Royal Mail employees strike larger companies such as Amazon just use other courier services in those days, so not that many actually notice. The only real hit is on the company share price.

    The other issue Royal Mail as a company have is the universal service agreement. This means the company is required ro deliver mail to every UK address, and ro try and achieve that by the next year, with 3 working days being the limit. And this also means they have to deliver every day of the week and Saturdays. RM are currently trying to remove Saturdays from this agreement, so only all Mail will need to be delivered on week days. With only parcels delivered at weekends.

    There are some less welcome changes they are trying to push through in changing workers rights and contracts of employment.

    To get rid of paid sick leave, so anyone off sick would not get paid for their first week off, and then only receive statutory sick pay after that (147 per week). And for there to be no union representation for workers rights when they return to work.

    To replace workers overtime with cheaper agency workers. This is already happening where I work. During Christmas they have always offered the ability for all part time staff to go fulltime for the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas. And for anyone to take overtime during the same time. This has been removed this year. There is no overtime being offered and no ability to go full time. Instead they have brought in cheap agency workers who are all very young, lazy and often don't speak very good English. And to make it worse they are being paid more then RM staff.

    There is also a rumour that the Christmas bonuses are being removed this year. Nutmeg this is 200 the week before Christmas. Also every employee has always received 50 free 1st class stamps as a part of the christmas bonus. These are worth over 45. It's rumoured they won't be getting those either this year.

    There is also a plan to force a change to working hours. With employees having to work 2 hours longer in busier times of the year for no additional money.

    Last week there were meetings with the shift makers
    Managers where they announced people could apply for voluntary redundany. I have worked for them for 20 years and if I went for this would only get 39 weeks wages plus about 3000 as a redundancy package. For those that have worked far longer, some 40 years, they would get exactly the same. And if they don't get enough volunteers they will start forced redundancies next year. Great!

    But talking to managers I dunt think many, if any, redundancies will Geithner when I work in Southampton. They recently installed a new parcel sorting machine so have futureproofed the site. And because of the site location it's needed because of the Isle of Wight, as we process their mail. Other offices on the South coast might close though such as Bournemouth so redundancies there would take place. But this is all rumour at the moment.

    Not good though.

    And many other job sectors are going on strike, or are already on strike over pay and working conditions. The problem is that in a global recession when the cost of living is going up oxidised fuel and energy prices people need pay rises to afford them, but bring a recession the employers are facing higher bills so have less money to pay higher wages. So it's an impossible situation.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
    My location

    J T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    'STRAYA (since 2010)
    Posts
    1,914
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    9% seems pretty good but then if there's been a number of years of low increases it still feels like there is 'catching up' to be done.

    I have a friend that works at Evri (used to be called Hermes) managing drivers and he says the conditions are pretty bad, the drivers aren't paid great and there's no culture of care. The staff do not handle the parcels well at all.

  3. #3
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,308
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14
    Evri/Hermes has a really bad reputation. It's one reason they recently changed their name.

    One delivery I had from them left the parcel in front of my side gate with the delivery note on top of it in the pouring rain. I have a porch which the door unlocked so no excuse.

    But yeah, 9% sounds good but it's over 18 months, not all immediate. And it would only be given if certain conditions were met. Such as agreeing to new worst terms and conditions such as no sick pay and a change to working hours and days. The removal of all pay allowances (at the moment you get shift allowances for working nights, or working on certain machines, or driving heavy goods vehicles. It was a way for everyone to get the same basic wage then increase it depending on the job you were doing) and a reduction in the abilities and power the union have within the business
    Last edited by Harrison; 19th December 2022 at 13:38.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,308
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14
    There appears to be no movement on negotiations between Royal Mail and the union. Neither side wants to budge so with that attitude how can you negotiate anything?

    Last Friday my manager told me they would have a backlog of 1 million letters sat in the mail centre by the end of that shift. And although the company officially deny it, delivery postman are being told not to sort letters and to put them all to one side. Only concentrate on parcels. So there could be a lot of very later Christmas cards this year. To give an example of how long some mail is being delayed, I know of a letter sent to my home address from my work address that arrived today 3 weeks after it went into the post.

    Reading online comments a lot of the general public don't understand the real reasons for the strikes or don't even understand how Royal Mail is run. It stopped being a state owned national company years ago when it was privatised. But many are moaning saying the government should either pay them more or not waste tax payers money. In reality as a private company it has nothing to do with the government any more and tax payers don't pay anything. It's a private comprehensive that posted 700M profitc last year and paid out over 400M to shareholders, yet says its losing 1M per day and can't afford pay rises. All very suspect.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  5. #5
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,308
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14
    Discovered something new this week. In regard to taking sick leave, Royal Mail have just started a new policy from the end of last week without officially letting anyone know.

    If an employee becomes ill and takes day off work sick they will now have to prove, with evidence, that they were sick and couldn't work. For example a copy of a Doctor's prescription.

    If they have no evidence and can't prove the reason then Royal Mail are going to try and state that it was an unauthorised absense and they will try to put it down as unpaid leave.

    One of the changes the union stated Royal Mail wanted to bring in with the proposed changes to employees terms and conditions was to stop paying sick leave. It seems they are already starting to sneak these changes through via the back door without any official statement or briefing to employees. And doing so whilst the Strike action is still taking place.

    This is disgusting behaviour.

    I looked up the law and employee contracts myst state that sick leave is at the employers discretion. I need to find my original contract and see what the wording says.

    This newspaper article backs this up: https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/royal...-dock-28735275

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


Similar Threads

  1. Literature Just got an interesting mail from Imagine Publishing
    By Demon Cleaner in forum General Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 23rd May 2015, 08:54
  2. Royal Wedding
    By Harrison in forum General Chat
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2nd May 2011, 17:38
  3. Vega Strike
    By Buleste in forum PC - Windows, Linux, Mac
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 10th September 2008, 16:36
  4. The state of Royal Mail
    By Harrison in forum General Chat
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 22nd May 2008, 09:51
  5. Royal Mail
    By Stephen Coates in forum General Chat
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 15th January 2008, 16:30

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Copyright classicamiga.com