Post Strike: Northern Ireland

postbox.jpgSo.. it’s been miserable for anyone who uses the post frequently or in any way for important items. The post strike is biting and biting hard. But.. what is it all about? Why can’t it be settled and quickly? Let’s check out what they are all saying.

At the heart of the dispute lies pay and potential job cuts. The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) rejects a 2.5% pay offer and is warning that the Royal Mail’s modernisation plans will lead to 40,000 job losses. The pay of postal workers needs to rise to the national average over the next five years, the union argues, but Royal Mail management maintains this would amount to an 27% increase that it cannot afford.
The BBC summarises the Post Office’s argument quite well:-

Royal Mail says that it has been losing business to its rivals since the postal market was opened to competition, and urgently needs to modernise its business practices. Since the liberalisation of the UK postal service in 2005, there are now 17 other companies competing against Royal Mail, especially in the more profitable business mail sector.

The Royal Mail says it has already lost 40% of this corporate market to rivals.

In order to compete, it has to modernise, Royal Mail argues, saying failure to do so has already cost it government deals and, recently, an £8m contract with online retailer Amazon. The company says it is investing £1.2bn in modernisation to ensure it can compete more effectively against its rivals.

So the lines are neatly drawn and we’ve all settled in for a loooong haul. The managers arguing they can’t pay more and the workers arguing that they really don’t want to lose their jobs. Meantime, of course, the newer postal companies must be rubbing their hands in glee and swooping in to pick up the business taht is going begging.

Anybody like to knock the collective organisation’s heads together?

But, what I really want to hear is the side of the men and women on the ground. I don’t think for a moment that the posties really want to be on strike -dedicated workers don’t take strike action lightly – but they feel they have to do something to protect their livelihood.

So… come on posties… tell us your side of the story. Why are you really on strike?

And, if, as a consumer, the strike has impacted on you let us know how?

Let’s talk about this…..

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6 Responses to Post Strike: Northern Ireland

  1. talkni says:

    So.. they have found a solution! Yippee. Read all about it here. Well, to be truthful, you’ll read about the fact that a deal has been reached but not what the deal is!

    Still…. sure that sorts it, yes?
    Thanks guys,

  2. BelieveitwhenIseeit says:

    Yes, I see from the papers that a solution has been found but “wildcat” actions continue. I think I’ll wait until the letters start being delivered again before I believe this is over. Sadly, I think this is probably only a temporary solution. The employers and the workers seem so very far apart I figure the conflict will continue.

  3. talkni says:

    More details are bing sketched in about the deal but there is a continuing backdrop of wildcat stoppages lingering on. The final details of the deal will not be revealed until Tuesday, probably, but the meeting must be leaking like an old shoe at this stage because the BBC are very confidently saying:-

    “the BBC understands that, in addition to the 6.9% pay rise over 18 months plus a lump sum payment of £175, the CWU has agreed to support consultation on ending the current final salary pension scheme.

    On the question of Royal Mail’s modernisation plans – which include the introduction of more flexible working patterns – there is said to be no UK-wide agreement.

    Instead, the BBC has learned that there will be a number of trials and that changes will be agreed locally by unions and regional Royal Mail management.

    The CWU has previously said that the Royal Mail’s modernisation plans would cost 40,000 jobs.”

    Don’t know about your feeling on this one but I figure all the reporting doesn’t really help a lot. It feels so much like the press are grandstanding and the overall effect of their “half reportage” is that tempers just get inflamed a little more.

    We’ll see if they have it right when the new “final” offer is released to the workers. But… what’s teh betting that the “locally” agreed changes will be a running sore for years to come? Pretty high it seems to me. 😦

  4. talkni says:

    Yehay.. the UCU have accepted the offer and it will now be subject to a members’ vote. Hopefully this will put an end to the strikes but I can’t help wondering WHY it had to go this far before both parties reached a deal?

    Anyone – eith side .. I’m not fussy – care to explain that to me?

  5. LordBath says:

    As of March 6th, 2008…can you tell me if there is a Postal strike in NI?

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