ANNOUNCEMENT : ROYAL MAIL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES (AGREEMENTS) AT A GLANCE (UPDATED 2017)... HERE


Why Royal Mail went to court

05 Nov 2017, 15:14

The easy answer would be to screw the union and stop the strikes but if you think about it a little longer it doesn't really answer the question.

The minute the union refused to cancel the strikes after being served notice that Royal Mail intended to enforce the legally binding mediation process the union was in a very bad place. Had they gone ahead with the strikes regardless the business could conceivably have sued for breach of contract and the subsequent loss of business and bankrupted the union in one move, this would not have been a risk the union would have taken and the only option after 5 minutes of legal counsel would have been to unilaterally withdraw the industrial action ballot themselves leaving them with serious egg on their face and a very angry membership.

So in a win/win scenario rather than back the union into an almost inescapable corner Royal Mail decided to go to court and give the union an out, albeit an expensive one.

Why?


Why Royal Mail went to court

05 Nov 2017, 16:09

They would rather have an emasculated union than a castrated one to work with.

Rather than cut Terry's knackers off, they have put a dose of bromide in his tea so although it looks like the wedding tackle is intact, everyone now knows it doesn't work properly.

Or something like that.........

Why Royal Mail went to court

05 Nov 2017, 17:53

Interesting analogy and genital metaphors! Surely the bromide was put in his tea the minute he agreed to all this legally binding stuff. Especially considering the number of times that Royal Mail have ignored the agreements apparently.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 13:03

They went to court simply because THEY were on a winner, all the way, as far as stopping ANY strike action leading into the Christmas pressure. They always held the trump card, due to a stitched up previous deal which the CWU fell for hook line and sinker.
I initiated a thread on this forum asking for views on impending strike action and RM disputing our right to strike, ( well debated and good opinions voiced on thread ). I still think that a Union agreeing to such a poor “ way forward agreement “was a massive mistake. We criminalised ourselves, our basic working right to remove our services for poor/ imposed changes to agreements, basically reduced us to being RM slaves. I think we really are now doomed to failure - I was always pessimistic !
The topic was “ Royal Mail Injunction Plans” btw

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 16:56

Do you honestly believe that RM did the CWU a favour by taking out a high court injunction to halt the impending strike call and save us union funds and keep the CWU alive. This is an employer who has breached tore apart any previous agreements made and interpreted the contents of these to their sole advantage. This is an employer who has considerably reduced the workforce and increased the workload on individual employees and pressurised and bullied by intimidation to finish the increased workload in shift time. This is an employer who has ignored the attendance agreement by pressure to return to work earlier than their doctors agreement and even their occupational health providers recommendations. This is an employer who appears at your home after having called in sick that very day. This is an employer where employees have to fight for time off to attend hospital appointments and attend personal family commitments. This is an employer who takes enjoyment from threatening with the conduct procedure for minor incidents.
I would have expected the CWU to have learned their lesson from the previous strike call when we had a 63% majority vote and we ended up with a high court injunction to halt the intended strike. I am of the opinion that now that we are a privatised company and with increased completion we cater for the hedge funds before the employees and rum the business on a streamline budget rather than provide a reliable service to the customer as we did in the past.
It would benefit RM that this company be DE unionised and they could run the business in the manner that they want without any interference from a union.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 17:09

The strike has been postponed, not cancelled.

Wether, after (hopefully fruitful) mediation/arbitration, a strike is called before or after Christmas we don't yet know - but I think that even if the 'mediation' card hadn't been played by RMG it would have been unlikely that IA would have occurred during the pressure period anyhow. If it so happens that IA is called after Christmas I see this as being far less 'catastrophic' from our perspective as some seem to believe. I can hardly see RMG rubbing their hands at the prospect, lets put it like that.


rehabron wrote:Do you honestly believe that RM did the CWU a favour by taking out a high court injunction to halt the impending strike call and save us union funds and keep the CWU alive. ..
It would benefit RM that this company be DE unionised and they could run the business in the manner that they want without any interference from a union.


+1

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 17:09

rehabron wrote:It would benefit RM that this company be DE unionised and they could run the business in the manner that they want without any interference from a union.

I think Fishtank's point is they can't push through their agenda without the union. They need the co-operation of the workforce.
Instead of seeing it as an employer who has reduced the workforce, see it as a union that has overseen the reduction of the workforce in tandem with the employer.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 17:50

A bit like the illusion of democracy ? You have two options to use your vote :- 1) free marketeers and 2) those that can manage the free market better than the free marketeers.
Possibly.
But i'd say that that is bordering on conspiracy theory in this particular instance - and thats coming from someone who has been labelled a conspiracy theorist himself many times on here (for reasons I've never quite understood). I understand that you aren't necessarily implying complicity on the unions part (and the game is being played out by RMG with the CWU as the patsy) - but whereas what you describe may be the perceived outcome, its not, in my view, the intention.
Of course, its impossible to disprove one way or the other - thus conspiracy theory territory.

Terry Pullinger and Dave Ward don't come across like patsy's to me - especially with an 89.1% majority behind them - and a socialist Labour Party backing them to the hilt.
The times they are a changing !!



Everything to play for still chaps. Game on.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 18:23

jetblack wrote:
Everything to play for still chaps. Game on.

But that doesn't answer the question - why did RM go to court?
If they really wanted to de-unionise the industry they could have let the CWU go ahead with the strike and then financially broken them.

They went to court to save the CWU because they need the CWU.
In the same way the CWU needs RM.
The relationship is symbiotic and not as antagonistic as some would like to portray it.

It is a bit like this:
A further example is the goby fish, which sometimes lives together with a shrimp. The shrimp digs and cleans up a burrow in the sand in which both the shrimp and the goby fish live. The shrimp is almost blind, leaving it vulnerable to predators when outside its burrow. In case of danger the goby fish touches the shrimp with its tail to warn it. When that happens both the shrimp and goby fish quickly retreat into the burrow.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 18:52

clashcityrocker wrote:If they really wanted to de-unionise the industry they could have let the CWU go ahead with the strike and then financially broken them.


How so ?

How could they have financially broken the union for taking lawful IA (in the absence of the 'mediation' clause) ?

As it turned out RMG did play the 'mediation' clause - and IA from the union was subsequently postponed pending the outcome of the mediation.

What am I missing here ?

Can the union top brass be paid off ? Yes. Joe Gormley was a stooge for MI5. Can the employer play the union for fools, so that the union is effectively working counter to the interests of its members ? I'm sure they can, yes.

Was that/is that the case here ? No, I believe not. And as the outcome has not yet been finalised my guess is as good as yours.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 19:03

It would benefit RM that this company be DE unionised and they could run the business in the manner that they want without any interference from a union.


If that's the case why go to court?

NOT going to court would have left the union with two choices.

1) Continue with the strikes and risk far more serious legal action, possible sequestration and bankruptcy.

2) Back down meekly and call off the strikes themselves leaving them looking powerless and weak to their own members before being forced into negotiations.

If there's a third way I'm listening.

Both of these scenarios would have been far more effective if the business really wanted to "DE unionise" Royal Mail. Do you think they're not smart enough to realise that?

As Clash points out the truth is that the business needs the union as a useful engagement tool and obviously the union needs Royal Mail. That doesn't mean that the union won't attempt to get the best deal possible, it's in their interest to do so but in order to understand the position we're in you have to understand the dynamic between the two parties. Many like yourself like to indulge in the rhetoric of class war when talking about industrial disputes, that can be useful when you're trying to build a level of engagement but it's nothing like class war, it's not us and them, it's a symbiotic business arrangement.

The reason I brought this up is because this is the part of the process where the members usually start threads like "shafted again" and "I'm voting NO!" and the reason this happens is primarily because members have been whipped up to a frenzy in order to ensure a positive ballot result and nobody really takes the time to bring them back down to earth and get them to understand the real relationship an employer and union have.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 19:08

How could they have financially broken the union for taking lawful IA (in the absence of the 'mediation' clause) ?


It would not have been lawful industrial action, the mediation clause would still have existed, it's just that the union would have been in breach of it and caused the business to lose millions in revenue during the period of IA, millions the business would potentially attempt to recover bearing in mind the union had breached its legally binding agreement by not going to mediation.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 19:10

fishtank wrote:
How could they have financially broken the union for taking lawful IA (in the absence of the 'mediation' clause) ?


It would not have been lawful industrial action, the mediation clause would still have existed, it's just that the union would have been in breach of it and caused the business to lose millions in revenue during the period of IA, millions the business would potentially attempt to recover bearing in mind the union had breached its legally binding agreement by not going to mediation.


There's no way that agreement would have been binding in retrospect, if RMG's lawyers hadn't brought it up in the first instance. They wouldn't have had a leg to stand on. Thats why they brought it up when they did - and even then it was touch and go.

The strike would have been lawful.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 19:40

There's no way that agreement would have been binding in retrospect


A legally binding agreement to do something ( mediation ) before you do something else ( strike ) wouldn't be binding if you did the thing you promised you wouldn't do ( strike ) before you did the thing you promised you would do first ( mediation )?

That's an interesting take on legally binding jet.

The injunction was a reaffirmation of the agreement, it didn't add to it in any way. What the judge said to the union was that you can't strike before you complete the process you agreed to otherwise you'll be in breach of your own agreement. If you break a legally enforceable contract the injured party is entitled to seek reasonable damages at least equal to any losses you incur as a result of that breach of contract. In this case two days strike action would have seen Terry Pullinger selling the Big Issue outside the new Starbucks at 150 The Broadway Wimbledon.

Why Royal Mail went to court

06 Nov 2017, 19:51

RM have broken many agreements with the CWU but the CWU have let them slide time & time again , but when the CWU break the agreements RM go all legal on the CWU . Surely the union needs to learn a lesson from this and fight fire with fire .

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