I am disappointed at your knee-jerk reaction to publicly ignore the views of the work force in response to their overwhelming â€˜yesâ€™ vote.
We both know a secret strike ballot at home â€“ where people weigh up all the arguments and consequences â€“ is the clearest message of all.
You told your employees to make up their own minds â€“ they did.
Postal workers have rejected your plans and are telling you they are fed up with the way that they are being treated by Royal Mail. Postal workers want you to negotiate an improved deal with their union â€“ not sit on the sidelines and abrogate your responsibilities.
I am offering you a further opportunity to reflect on your position and engage in fresh and meaningful negotiations before any strike action takes place. I would also ask you to consider the following points:
Modernisation - You keep using the phrase â€˜Modernisationâ€™ like a mantra without ever explaining what you really mean. Let me remind you. It was CWU who led the campaign for government investment â€“ the real debate is how we use that money to benefit the customers, workforce and the company.
The Union will not face away from change and we have a long history of successfully dealing with automation. You cannot continue to hide behind the word â€˜modernisationâ€™ when what you really mean is cuts in the service, cuts in pay and cuts in jobs.
Royal Mail must be more realistic about what can be achieved in advance of automation. It will be the agreed introduction of automation that can reduce costs whilst at the same time improving service and properly rewarding staff. This means you must step back from the current damaging cost cutting frenzy taking place in every office.
CWU want an agreement on automation that genuinely helps the company face up to the challenge of competition, maintains the public service, looks after those staff who choose to leave and improves the terms and conditions for those who stay. This would mean the company returning to our previously agreed approach and working with the union.
Pay - You know we have not asked for a 27% pay rise. You should refrain from deliberately misleading the public on this point. What postal workers want is a decent basic living wage. The Union will be realistic about what can be achieved in the short term but with April inflation at 4.8% we will not accept a pay cut in real terms. The company can afford a better deal - government investment has been secured - additionally ColleagueShare is being made available. We could easily reshape that package and jointly deliver a decent basic increase now.
By refusing to negotiate you are revealing publicly that your real motivation is about destroying the union rather than working with us to make Royal Mail a success.
You have always said that leadership is about listening and taking the workforce with you. Its time you proved it. I urge you to get directly involved in immediate negotiations. However, if you choose to press on regardless with your cuts and attacks on the workforce then you will be responsible for the first national postal strike in 11 years.
I look forward to a positive response.
Deputy General Secretary (P)