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UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

14 Jul 2020, 22:13

https://www.redflagonline.org/union-mak ... Tz_Kr94NU0


The answer to a Royal Mail in the red is renationalisation not cuts.

Everything was quiet since the threat of a postal workers’ revolt ousted anti-union Royal Mail boss Rico Back in May. Then on 25 June Royal Mail announced its annual results – that it is losing £1 million a day due to the corona crisis and “change” would have to accelerate, starting with 2,000 managers losing their jobs as part of £130 million savings in “people costs”.

CWU heads Terry Pullinger and Dave Ward were fiery when Back was trying to impose changes and bust the union, but now they are singing a different tune: the company is in bad shape and “we know things have to change”.

After behind-the-scenes talks between management and the Communications Workers Union (CWU), a Joint Statement on 1 July revealed 600 disagreements will be cleared off the table to allow office revisions and efficiency savings – all before talks have really begun. The aim is to negotiate an agreement by the end of July.

We’ve been here before: CWU members need to watch our leaders. We shouldn’t accept any climbdowns on our current terms and conditions, the promises made in the 2018 Four Pillars Agreement, or cuts to the USO. The clock is ticking until our ballot runs out in September.

The immediate danger is that postal bosses take the cuts from revisions, then turn around and burn the union, just like in the 2007 dispute. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen this time, and demand the union agrees no concessions and campaigns for renationalisation as the only long-term solution for the postal service.

Joint Statement and jobs

While Royal Mail might be exaggerating its losses, its annual results showed falling letters and revenue even before corona hit. The first phase of cuts in “people costs” (our jobs!) will partly come from revisions, while longer-term plans aim to speed up automated parcel sorting to cut more.

And if there was any question that bosses had changed their stripes, struggles have continued over management putting profits over safety, most recently in the walkout at Barnsley where they couldn’t be bothered to adequately clean the office after a staff corona outbreak. These health and safety clashes are likely to continue while middle management remains full of Rico-era hardliners and the top priority is saving money.

The Joint Statement committed Royal Mail to the Four Pillars (again), as well as working jointly to defend the USO. But will they give the hour off the working week blocked since last October? More likely that’s up for negotiation of “timescales”, to be pushed into the future, so in reality this amounts to renegotiating the Four Pillars Agreement.

For now, the only commitments are revisions in return for a pay deal. Terry let the cat out of the bag when he said “how can we make some savings”, and revisions “can go the members’ way in some places”, recognising that they won’t in most, hiking workloads and cutting hours and jobs, so part-timers are further away than ever from going full-time.

In a video to members, Dave Ward and Terry Pullinger justified revisions by pointing to Royal Mail’s commitment to reverse its moves to separate Parcelforce, saying we need to show we are committed to negotiations by offering revisions savings. While Parcelforce is a welcome retreat, we shouldn’t need to reciprocate. Removing all executive action was the minimum needed to show management were serious about negotiations after their attacks on the union.

Groundhog Day

In the video there are several worrying signs of the leadership’s mindset. Both Dave and Terry repeatedly insisted “we have to show we are prepared to change”, emphasising what a bad situation Royal Mail is in. Whenever CWU leaders start repeating the change mantra, workers know we need to watch out for a bad deal.

Terry insisted that “the new chairman and new CEO are refreshing, and agree we should be about growth. Their recommitment to it is massive step for us as negotiators.” Really? That’s what Royal Mail said in 2018, 2014, 2010, 2007… Next comes the talk about “mutual interest” and “shared values”. The woollier the words get, the more we should examine the small print.

Workers should be sceptical about pledges to look at “minimising letter decline”, “diversifying” deliveries with other jobs to prop it up, or nice claims about the “green new deal”. Some of that might happen and even be welcome, but it won’t save jobs. Only the 35 hour work week, or a process to share out the work with no loss of pay or jobs, will do that.

Meanwhile the press assumes that any pay rises and other benefits in the Four Pillars will be paid for in full by productivity and efficiency gains – correct.

Royal Mail bosses have changed tack, not their overall plans

The union was strong enough to force the bosses to the table, but without a strike, the shoe is on the other foot. CEOs will point to Royal Mail’s budget hole and ask the union for “joint solutions”, aiming to get us on board for restructuring in exchange for pay and promises.

How far down the line will the union leaders go to get a deal? Postal workers need to get organised, with office meetings and reps meetings, online if necessary, to discuss the joint statement and ensure there are no concessions.

Posties should remember what happened after the Four Pillars was signed off in 2018. The rule is what we are promised in the first year is what we can count on probably getting. Future gains are left for “reviews” and “working groups” to find ways to pay for them – or for Royal Mail to block them, ripping up the deal.

Watch your leaders and get organised

Terry gave the usual lecture against those resisting Royal Mail’s blackmail: “We can’t always be in dispute mode, we have to move things forward. If nothing moves, we end up with no industry and no job.”

In other words, if we don’t make cuts and redundancies voluntarily, they will be forced on us. CWU leaders are desperate for a deal now because they can’t see an alternative to Royal Mail’s falling profits other than hiking them first as the basis for pay and then a deal.

The deal will likely mean ripping up our current worklife, with many suspecting a deal based around new Sunday parcel deliveries offsetting job losses from a five day USO – but that’s 20,000 job losses to offset! Whatever the final deal, Martin Walsh, head of CWU’s London Division, warns “be in no doubt that these negotiations are going to be possibly the biggest since the ending of the second delivery and will mean major change”.[1]

There is an alternative way forward, but it means a step in a radical new direction: for the rank and file to get organised to impact on the talks and ultimately take control. We can start with meetings to discuss the joint statement and revisions, publicising the views taken and demands on social media and between offices and branches, encouraging others to do the same.

But we should aim higher. Militant offices and branches should come together and demand the union kicks off a national campaign to nationalise Royal Mail and fight the coming austerity alongside the rest of the trade union movement.

Radical measures

Terry Pullinger and Dave Ward did a great job motivating the members in the current dispute, explaining what was at stake, exposing management in the harshest terms, and building up the strike. But they are now turning towards a deal that meets Royal Mail halfway – or worse. It was inevitable, even before corona, that Royal Mail would use its worsening finances to blackmail the union. Both of them pointed out, in many meetings with reps, that Royal Mail cannot make a profit delivering parcels on our wages and conditions – what’s changed? That puts a big question mark over the 35 hour week. That’s why we need a rank and file movement in the post – so that we can go forward when the leaders hold back or fail us.

Radical times demand radical measures. After two years of the stress and strife of our first major post-privatisation dispute, postal workers need to act now, and ensure “the fight for our life” doesn’t get downsized itself, with the union leading the way, into another deal that sells away our strength for pay and a false, temporary peace. If we have to, let’s have the fight out to defend our jobs and campaign for a more lasting solution: renationalisation.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/CWULondon/post ... 3844765492

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 10:06

Interesting post
The 35 hour week would be amazing for mail centres etc
Where you have a start and finish time
On the other hand ,in deliveries it will just lead to more bullying as you will be expected to do the same work in
Less hours
The bullying was the main reason I voted yes.
So the 600 disagreements have been lifted ,have these offices been put back to how they were ,pre-disagreements ?
Does dingo still post on here ? It would be interesting to know what climb downs there are going to be
It’s a badly run business ,that is top heavy with a huge wage bill at the top .how much more do they think they can take out of delivery
Why can’t the managers go out on delivery when they finish their actual work very early in the mornings ,this would save money on agency staff and hours could be put back in offices and have them running properly for once.
The managers could instead of watching people sort all morning ,deal with any complaints or whatever they are supposed to do and be out delivering at the same time as delivery staff .the work place coaches could also step in and help the managers if they are under too much pressure

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 10:52

we better get a vote on cwu concessions as they are representing myself and other members who should be instructing union which way we want to go not dictated to by cwu hq
tick tock

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 10:56

wf wrote:Interesting post
The 35 hour week would be amazing for mail centres etc
Where you have a start and finish time
On the other hand ,in deliveries it will just lead to more bullying as you will be expected to do the same work in
Less hours
The bullying was the main reason I voted yes.

A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:06

SpacePhoenix wrote:A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

And what effect would increased automation of parcel sorting or the removal of shoe box size parcels from the current pipeline have on MCs?

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:16

redrebecca wrote:https://www.redflagonline.org/union-makes-concessions-as-talks-begin-with-royal-mail/?fbclid=IwAR2ibvLHvpMHyE1hz6wKdqYXVT_tMUvbIhKiaZcUsA_h9KzoETz_Kr94NU0


The answer to a Royal Mail in the red is renationalisation not cuts.


Stopped reading at this point. A load of hard-left bollocks that will never happen until Jeremy Corbyn has been PM for at least 20 years.

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:32

RM may agree to the reduction in hour,s & average pay while on leave

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:38

clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

And what effect would increased automation of parcel sorting or the removal of shoe box size parcels from the current pipeline have on MCs?

A very sizeable chunk of packets won't be suitable for being run through the machines

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:46

SpacePhoenix wrote:
wf wrote:Interesting post
The 35 hour week would be amazing for mail centres etc
Where you have a start and finish time
On the other hand ,in deliveries it will just lead to more bullying as you will be expected to do the same work in
Less hours
The bullying was the main reason I voted yes.

A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times


One Class of item , Next day delivery in the MC Collection Area , Day after the rest
Outward Sortation , One Mech / Manual Selection for each inward M C , Despatches to arrive at the Inward M C by 2200 ( 10 pm ) , all mail on hand at the start of the night shift

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 11:49

Schiff wrote:

The answer to a Royal Mail in the red is renationalisation not cuts.


Stopped reading at this point. A load of hard-left bollocks that will never happen until Jeremy Corbyn has been PM for at least 20 years.


If you stopped reading at the first sentence how do you know it was a load of hard-left bollocks?

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 12:05

SpacePhoenix wrote:
clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

And what effect would increased automation of parcel sorting or the removal of shoe box size parcels from the current pipeline have on MCs?

A very sizeable chunk of packets won't be suitable for being run through the machines

That doesn't really answer the question.
Your - "there will be failures" pessimism is based on you having the same workload.
If your workload decreases (either through automation or parcel segregation or both) then failures could be avoided with a reduction in the working week.

What about a reduction in the working week and increased staffing levels?
Would that still result in more failures?

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 12:33

Who even says 'failures' would be a part of a revamped USO.

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 12:40

clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

And what effect would increased automation of parcel sorting or the removal of shoe box size parcels from the current pipeline have on MCs?

A very sizeable chunk of packets won't be suitable for being run through the machines

That doesn't really answer the question.
Your - "there will be failures" pessimism is based on you having the same workload.
If your workload decreases (either through automation or parcel segregation or both) then failures could be avoided with a reduction in the working week.

What about a reduction in the working week and increased staffing levels?
Would that still result in more failures?

The reduction of the working week has always been at the start of the shifts. We're a good few years away from every MC having a PSM. Parcel segregation is already a joke, many yorks of large will be over 1/4 full with smalls and many sleeves of smalls will be be over 1/4 full with large. We often get sleeves of normal packets that have got loads of Tracked mixed in.

I can't see the workload going down, if anything i think workloads all round will go up with the covid situation and now the face mass situation pushing more people towards doing their shopping online

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 14:31

SpacePhoenix wrote:
clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:
clashcityrocker wrote:
SpacePhoenix wrote:A 35hr week in MCs would just result in more failures, either that or the final runs to DOs would have to be later. Finish times in MCs are based on final dispatch times

And what effect would increased automation of parcel sorting or the removal of shoe box size parcels from the current pipeline have on MCs?

A very sizeable chunk of packets won't be suitable for being run through the machines

That doesn't really answer the question.
Your - "there will be failures" pessimism is based on you having the same workload.
If your workload decreases (either through automation or parcel segregation or both) then failures could be avoided with a reduction in the working week.

What about a reduction in the working week and increased staffing levels?
Would that still result in more failures?

The reduction of the working week has always been at the start of the shifts. We're a good few years away from every MC having a PSM. Parcel segregation is already a joke, many yorks of large will be over 1/4 full with smalls and many sleeves of smalls will be be over 1/4 full with large. We often get sleeves of normal packets that have got loads of Tracked mixed in.


I can't see the workload going down, if anything i think workloads all round will go up with the covid situation and now the face mass situation pushing more people towards doing their shopping online


If every thing goes as planned , shoe box size & above will circulate through one of two ( possibly three ) Parcel / Packet Hubs , ie Atherstone or Warrington
When they arrive at the Inward M C or RDC they will be in Direct Yorks to the Delivery Office , this must reduce the amount of sorting at the Outward & Inward M C,s
Last edited by wallan on 15 Jul 2020, 14:41, edited 1 time in total.

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 14:34

wallan wrote:RM may agree to the reduction in hour,s & average pay while on leave

source?

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 14:48

FirstPost wrote:
wallan wrote:RM may agree to the reduction in hour,s & average pay while on leave

source?


None , other than it could be A Sweetner for the CWU to accept less palatable proposals

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 15:37

wallan wrote:If every thing goes as planned , shoe box size & above will circulate through one of two ( possibly three ) Parcel / Packet Hubs , ie Atherstone or Warrington
When they arrive at the Inward M C or RDC they will be in Direct Yorks to the Delivery Office , this must reduce the amount of sorting at the Outward & Inward M C,s

For normal packets it won't make much difference as there's often only a couple of people on the large.

Will the hubs scan the barcodes of any Tracked that passes through them?

The hubs need to get used to the idea of also having packets come through that are smaller than a shoe box size, the separation of small from large by every MC is s**t. I don't think RDCs are too much better for yorks where stuff has entered the system direct at an RDC

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 16:19

Average pay while on leave,believe thats a national thing for different industries ,and royal mail are obliged to implement it ,so cant be a bargaining tool.

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 17:24

wallan wrote:RM may agree to the reduction in hour,s & average pay while on leave


RM already signed upto the reduction in hours and average holiday pay is the law, the union have been very slack in regards to it.

UNION MAKES CONCESSIONS AS TALKS BEGIN WITH ROYAL MAIL

15 Jul 2020, 21:59

Woody Guthrie wrote:
Schiff wrote:

The answer to a Royal Mail in the red is renationalisation not cuts.


Stopped reading at this point. A load of hard-left bollocks that will never happen until Jeremy Corbyn has been PM for at least 20 years.


If you stopped reading at the first sentence how do you know it was a load of hard-left bollocks?

The renationalisation rubbish.

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