This decision by the CWU is an abdication of responsibility for the long-term job security of its members. In more than three months of talks, CWU has failed to engage meaningfully on the business changes required. The negative commercial impact of any strike action will only make pay rises less affordable and could put jobs at risk. The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business, and to engage urgently on the changes required.
Royal Mail remains ready to talk with the CWU to try and avert damaging industrial action and prevent significant inconvenience for customers. But any talks must be about both change and pay.
Royal Mail has contingency plans in place and will be working hard to minimise disruption and restore normal service as soon as possible.
Following the conclusion of negotiations with the CWU, including completing our mutually agreed Dispute Resolution Processes, Royal Mail announced it would award CWU grade colleagues in the UK an unconditional 2% pay increase, backdated to 1 April 2022.
A further 3.5% increase is available, subject to agreeing on a series of changes and including a new 'above and beyond' bonus.
The CWU rejected this offer, worth up to 5.5%, which would add around £230 million to Royal Mail annual people costs at a time when the business is already loss making – in the Q1 trading update published on 20 July, Royal Mail announced it was losing a million pounds a day and the proposed pay deal adds more than half a million pounds a day to that figure. This can only be paid for with meaningful business change.
The CWU has balloted its members on pay, which returned a majority in favour of industrial action.
The CWU announced a second ballot on change on 27 July.
Source: Royal Mail