Postal Strike. CWU/Royal Mail Interim Agreement

November 6, 2009

The Communication Workers Union and the Royal Mail have reached an interim agreement in a press release issued today, the CWU said:

The CWU’s postal executive yesterday (Thursday) unanimously endorsed the attached agreement. This agreement has been brought about by the strength of the union’s national strike ballot and the overwhelming support for the strikes.

 The interim agreement contains significant developments and concessions that have mainly emerged in the last few days. The interim agreement ensures that the long running bitter local disputes are now resolved by negotiation and agreement. These strikes developed as a result of management imposition and the interim agreement genuinely returns these issues back to the need to agree change.

 The interim agreement also ensures postal workers will work normally during the Christmas period, ensuring they get the chance to earn extra money. This is a benefit that has been denied to workers as Royal Mail has tried to build a casual workforce. The agreement also deals strongly with discipline cases, clear up arrangements and stops the growing practice in Royal Mail of taking people off pay.

 Most importantly, the interim agreement is very specific on how a full and final agreement will be shaped. It guarantees that Royal Mail will agree change and that workers will get real benefits from the modernisation of the business.

 Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “There is no doubt that the strength of support from postal workers in the strikes has made Royal Mail think again. They have made significant concessions this week that are clear for everybody to see. Those concessions have allowed us to suspend strike action and work towards a full and final agreement. The union has always been focused on achieving modernisation by consent and now the company has finally acknowledged that is how we must go forward.

 “The agreement ensures the imposed change that has led to the bitter local disputes will now be subject to negotiation and agreement. It also deals with with clear up arrangements and discipline but most crucially the interim agreement is clear in shaping the final agreement and the benefits that postal workers can now expect from the future.  

“Trust remains an issue between the union and the company but the introduction of an independent chair to continue the negotiations and fortnightly reviews will mean that nobody can walk away from this agreement.”  

The national ballot and all local ballots remain in place. 

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