CWU threatens Royal Mail with industrial action
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has balloted its members with 72,800 of them voting to support strike action primarily, we understand, over changes to the Royal Mail pension scheme. Should this strike action actually be taken, the CWU has very deliberately chosen the dates of November 24th and 25th so that it will coincide with the increased demand caused by Black Friday. The dispute centres on pay, delivery office closures, and Royal Mail's decision to close its final salary pension scheme.
Royal Mail has been quick to point out that it is committed to participating in talks with CWU officials to reach an agreement. Both parties must also follow the Agenda for Growth (AFG) which is a legally binding agreement governing dispute resolution procedures and this would take at least two months. No industrial action is able to be taken until this process has been followed. Any action taking place prior to this could lead to legal action for an injunction.
It emerges that the CWU itself is making similar changes to the pension scheme for its own staff and this has caught the attention of the national press who have also pointed out that the CWU pension assets are largely invested in the hedge funds. The CWU has repeatedly criticised hedge funds for draining business assets.
Lord Norman Tebbitt has been reported as saying "It is hypocritical for the union to agitate against the Royal Mail for doing what they are doing themselves." Adding, of Royal Mail employees who have voted for the strike, " They are pricing themselves out of business, they are making it more difficult for themselves to keep their jobs."