Royal Mail and CWU restart talks

Royal Mail and CWU restart talks

Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have agreed a programme of talks aimed at resolving their current dispute.

Royal Mail’s commitments to assure Parcelforce’s role in the Royal Mail Group, have been hailed as a “massive” achievement by the CWU.

The talks are designed to develop a mutual interest strategy to build a successful future for customers, employees and the business. They will also address the immediate operational and financial challenges facing the business.

The talks will cover five key strands:

  1. The financial position of the company
  2. Local revision and change activity
  3. Pay
  4. Operational change and the future strategy of Royal Mail, including Parcelforce
  5. The potential to better use the company’s unrivalled infrastructure

The talks are due to be completed by the end of July, with the potential to extend discussions around points 4 and 5.

Speaking to over 10,000 people on Tuesday evening’s Facebook live broadcast, Dave Ward, General Secretary of the CWU, said: “We’re in a position now where we’ve made real progress. I hope you read the statement and see that the dispute has changed significantly in our favour.

“This letter couldn’t have been delivered without your support – and without the company knowing that it wasn’t enough that the CEO would go, and that there must be a different direction.”

He added: “To be clear, this doesn’t mean the dispute is over.

“But it’s the right thing, we think, to get stuck into some serious talks with the company, and we have a good platform to do that.”

Terry Pullinger, Deputy General Secretary CWU said: “we’ve been in dispute for two years,” and that our existing agreements had been “on the line,“ so although the CWU side had been encouraged by the change in company leadership, it was vital that the business made some serious movements in order to rebuild the union’s trust, he explained, adding: “There was a lot of trust to rebuild.

“It was absolutely important that me and Dave got in the room with them and asked where we are going – and this joint statement speaks volumes. It provides a platform to start us off working together and to deal in a genuine way.”

Moving forward on revisions and efficiencies must also mean that April 2020 pay is resolved and, with the joint pledges to adhere to all of the Four Pillars commitments, the agreed flight-path to a 35-hour week comes back onto schedule.

Both Dave and Terry paid particular attention to the company’s decision not to separate off Parcelforce, which was “great news for members in Parcelforce and also great news for the whole membership.”

Royal Mail says it remains committed to open and constructive engagement with the CWU. We all want a successful and sustainable company that provides good quality jobs, fairness in workloads, and continues delivering a sustainable Universal Service.

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