Exclusive: Royal Mail deal on the cards

Further to my last post on the subject, I’ve learned that – although both sides won’t confirm it – Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union’s negotiating team are applying the finishing touches to a modernisation agreement they’ve been tharshing out since the national strike ended last year. You can read about it in this week’s Tribune. As I report :

A source said of the deal: “If it were a purely financial deal, you’d be rolling around laughing at it, but it’s a lot more than that.”

Another source said: “It will deal with the individual industrial issues such as the mail centre network, union issues. They’re at the end of the road. I suspect there’ll be a recommendation to accept. I don’t think people are going to be flag flying in the hilltops. I expect it’s going to be a difficult, complicated proposal.”

The CWU’s postal executive committee have been summoned to a two-day meeting next week where officers will take them over the agreement, and (as I understand) recommend them to agree it. The executive will then decide whether to accept it or not, and if it does, it’ll have to put it to the members for a vote.

So there are still hurdles – but we’re a lot closer than we were a month ago, when the talks were meant to be concluded.

Why has it taken so long? A highly disciplined omertà has been in operation since talks began, so it’s hard to say. However the mood music points towards a compromise that some CWU members may find unpalatable (see above). Although they may (should?) get more money. We shall see.

This agreement is a big, complicated, multi-limbed beast which will almost certainly lead to more automation and Royal Mail shedding jobs, since the CWU is on the record as acccepting the need for job losses. There are all kinds of complex issues around working conditions to resolve. The agreement is not just there to modernise the company, it’s there to prevent another national strike – and that is by no means ruled out yet.

Update: HellMail has some learned reflections on what a Royal Mail deal could mean for both sides.

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3 Responses to “Exclusive: Royal Mail deal on the cards”

  1. Brian Says:

    Hate to be the one to break it to you,but the very strong indications that we are getting is that the deal is off,Royal mail hardliners have scuppered the deal in London,and that is news that we just received one hour ago.

  2. Brian Says:

    Talks back on ,over the weekend.

  3. Duncan Dewinne Says:

    Good information in your posting, I watched a report on the tv last week about this same thing and since I am going to be married in two weeks and the timing could not have been better! thanks for the post!

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