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DMA calls for Royal Mail and CWU to continue negotiations to avert strikes

Royal Mail - Post box.jpg

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced the result of a vote on whether to take industrial action over a dispute linked to pay, pensions and jobs. The result, from the 74% turnout, is that 89% have voted in favour of taking industrial action.

UPDATE: The CWU has announced Royal Mail workers will strike for 48 hours from noon on 19 October. In a statement, Royal Mail expressed its disappointment at the news and reiterated its commitment to further talks as a matter of urgency to reach agreement with the CWU.

The DMA is calling for all parties to continue negotiations over the coming week to avert strike action that could potentially damage both sides.

Chris Combemale, CEO of DMA group, says: “At a time of uncertainty for the country and our industry, with ongoing Brexit negotiations and the challenge of GDPR implementation, the CWU’s vote in favour of strike action is concerning. It could create more instability in this challenging time and during this important period for many businesses.

“We urge both parties to resume negotiations urgently and settle their differences, to avoid disruption to the Christmas sales season, which is critical to the UK’s retailers. Royal Mail has assured us that it has contingency plans in place to minimise any disruption to businesses or customers. But any uncertainty about mail during this key sales period could have a negative impact on businesses.”

In 2013, both Royal Mail and the CWU committed to something called the Agenda for Growth (AFG), which was a legally binding agreement covering a number of areas. One of the key points covered in the document is contractual dispute resolution procedures. Under the agreement, these disagreements should be escalated to independent external mediation.

The DMA again urges representatives from both Royal Mail and the CWU to return to the negotiation table before calling for any further strike action. Industrial action has the potential to damage the business by undermining the trust of Royal Mail customers, which will impact both sides of the dispute. 

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