Time And Money Running Out For Royal Mail
23 October 2009 - David Lynch
Leader of the Communication Workers Union, Billy Hayes, today called for 'compromise' as delivery workers staged a 24 hour walk out. It follows a 24 hour walkout by mail centre staff and drivers yesterday. Further strikes are due to take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday next week.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: "We have a week in which to reach an agreement and we have today written to ACAS setting out our open offer of unconditional talks. We are determined to get an agreement. We want Royal Mail to join us at ACAS and work with us to achieve one.
"Royal Mail has been putting out misinformation about documentation over the past few days. Let's take all that documentation to ACAS where it can be fairly examined. The CWU has nothing to hide."
Mark Higson, Royal Mail Managing Director, said:
"It’s appalling but sadly not surprising that the CWU has called still more strikes in its determination to damage customers and ruin the UK postal service. Any pretence from the CWU that they care about customers or about the future of the postal service is now shown to be totally dishonest. The CWU leadership has failed to honour and deliver the agreement we both negotiated on Tuesday night that would have averted this week’s strikes, ensured no further strikes until the end of the year - and given both parties a period of calm for further talks and to give customers the service they deserve between now and Christmas."
With both sides now in an apparent stalemate with the union refusing to call off strikes as a precondition for assistance from Acas, and Royal Mail refusing to entertain the prospect of abritration unless the CWU actually cancels strike action, progress seems to have reached a dead end. The government has said it will not intervene in the row other than recommending that both sides seek help from Acas.
In the meantime both sides seem determined to stare each other out. A compromise of sorts, but with British Gas and Barclays both pushing hard to get customers to move to e-billing and many of Royal Mail's customers now switching to other firms, some of whom will not come back, time and money is running out.
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