Royal Mail and CWU continue their talks at the TUC’s headquarters to resolve the staffing dispute.
Chaired by TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, the negotiations involve deputy general secretary of CWU Dave Ward and managing director of Royal Mail letters Mark Higson.
The key issues that will be discussed include job security of Royal Mail employees, quality and sustainability of the postal service and changes in working practice, which include earnings and work hours.
A spokesperson from CWU told HR Business Network: “Strikes are a result of a breakdown in negotiation with Royal Mail refusing to talk to CWU. One of the key problems is that Royal Mail has been attempting to cut out the union. But it is important for the workforce to have a voice and representation to protect the interest of postal workers.
It is growing increasingly urgent for the issue to be settled as it is costly for Royal Mail and having a negative impact on staff morale. Royal Mail has failed to address its employees’ concerns and instead of engaging with the union has turned to external agencies.”
Since 17 October, Royal Mail has begun recruiting 30,000 temporary staff for the build up to Christmas, half more than usual for this time of year. According to the CWU this has happened early and the additional 15,000 staff seem to be in place to deal with strike action. CWU spokesperson added: “This could mean they are in breach of employment law.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We act entirely within the law and I can’t respond to this any further.”
Two national strikes will take place on Friday 6 November and Monday 9 November involving all 121,000 employees in Royal Mail letters.
The strike came about following an independent ballot asking workers: ‘Are you prepared to take action?’ with 76 per cent in favour.
Both parties have agreed not to speak publicly about the meetings until further notice.