[UK] Union expects post strike support

edesignuk

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Original poster
Mar 25, 2002
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London, England
The result of a ballot of 120,000 Royal Mail workers that could pave the way for a second national strike in two years will be announced later.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says it is confident of support for industrial action in the dispute.

A series of regional strikes in the long-running dispute has created a backlog of millions of letters.

Royal Mail says it is losing money on letter and parcel delivery and has warned of the damage strikes could do.

But the general secretary of the CWU, Billy Hayes, told the BBC that workers had little choice but to vote for action in the pay and job cuts dispute.
BBC.

Maybe I'm viewing this too simply here, but...

Not as much stuff is being sent via Royal Mail, other couriers are taking market share, and people use e-mail more and more. We've been in a recession to boot. What do these workers expect to happen as a result of these circumstances?

As a result of their last strike there are apparently ~15m items of postage sitting around that may never be delivered. Now they want to strike again, just before Christmas.

WTF? Have they been talking with the RMT about how to best time and piss off the public to ensure no support.

Pisses me off! Bastids! :eek: :rolleyes:
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
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London, England
Bewilders and pisses me off too. What, they think because they got a job that they are entitled to keep it indefinitely and unconditionally? Completely regardless of, well, anything? :rolleyes: Wankers.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
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Bewilders and pisses me off too. What, they think because they got a job that they are entitled to keep it indefinitely and unconditionally? Completely regardless of, well, anything? :rolleyes: Wankers.
Wouldn't you want to feel secure in your job?
 

iBlue

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Mar 17, 2005
19,174
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London, England
Wouldn't you want to feel secure in your job?
Of course, and I'd probably do what I could to protect it. But when it comes to striking and inconveniencing millions of people because business is in a decline, I think it's unreasonable of them. I can understand their panic and naturally not wanting to be out of work (especially right now) but I don't understand what makes them think they are more special than the rest of the struggling world.

I totally support unions and striking when there is a good reason for it. From what I can tell about this strike (and many of the london underground strikes as well) it's just a massively misplaced sense of entitlement.
 

bartelby

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Jun 16, 2004
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Of course, and I'd probably do what I could to protect it. But when it comes to striking and inconveniencing millions of people because business is in a decline, I think it's unreasonable of them. I can understand their panic and naturally not wanting to be out of work (especially right now) but I don't understand what makes them think they are more special than the rest of the struggling world.

I totally support unions and striking when there is a good reason for it. From what I can tell about this strike (and many of the london underground strikes as well) it's just a massively misplaced sense of entitlement.
It all comes down to the fact that they can inconvenience millions of people and hope their bosses don't want this to happen and at least give a decent deal. What's reported in the press, about what the unions want, are usually a massive compromise and in more towards the managements than the workers idea of a fair deal.

It's not that they think they're special, they just have a massive amount of leverage. Not a massively misplaced sense of entitlement.

From what I've read in the news over the last few days, as a civil servant I'm going to be f**ked over by which ever party win the next election. When it comes down to it I'll be all for causing inconvenience to whoever I can if it's needed. So I apologise in advance...

... Not that Child Health statistics have a massive impact on the average person... :)
 

iBlue

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Mar 17, 2005
19,174
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London, England
It all comes down to the fact that they can inconvenience millions of people and hope their bosses don't want this to happen and at least give a decent deal. What's reported in the press, about what the unions want, are usually a massive compromise and in more towards the managements than the workers idea of a fair deal.

It's not that they think they're special, they just have a massive amount of leverage. Not a massively misplaced sense of entitlement.

From what I've read in the news over the last few days, as a civil servant I'm going to be f**ked over by which ever party win the next election. When it comes down to it I'll be all for causing inconvenience to whoever I can if it's needed. So I apologise in advance...

... Not that Child Health statistics have a massive impact on the average person... :)
I don't think having leverage makes the demands any more reasonable, especially under the current circumstances. It sucks jobs are disappearing, it sucks a lot, but they shouldn't be immune because they have leverage.


I'm not real pleased by the likely possibility of tories getting back in. My fingers are crossed for you. I know this is the last thing you need right now.
 

robbieduncan

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Jul 24, 2002
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London
What they seem to be striking over is modernisation plans aimed at dragging the RM out of the 1950s in into the modern age. If the RM don't do this they will struggle to survive without government support as their current business is simply too expensive to survive.

Yes, the results of the modernisation probably does mean less staff will be needed in some roles (particularly sorting), but the alternative may be that no staff will be needed at all.

I think the strikers are being very foolish: businesses small and large may well use this as a reason to look at the alternatives and once the RM is once again available for deliveries they won't come back. On the BBC news this morning there was one example: a small local business that was run out of a village somewhere. The owner had been putting £1000 a month of business through the village post office. She has now switched to an alternative postal supplier and said she would not be switching back. It would not be a surprise if that £1000 a month was helping keep that small PO open...

Edit to add: and bartelby, whilst I wish you the best and the best of luck, the current civil service cannot continue as is, especially the massively generous final salary pension scheme. In my opinion any final salary scheme is simply unworkable going forward.
 

bartelby

macrumors Core
Jun 16, 2004
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Edit to add: and bartelby, whilst I wish you the best and the best of luck, the current civil service cannot continue as is, especially the massively generous final salary pension scheme. In my opinion any final salary scheme is simply unworkable going forward.
You're actually talking about the Senior Civil Service pension there. The average non SCS pension is worth about £5,000 a year and if you're a new civil servant, less than 7 years in the job, you don't get a final salary pension anyway.
 

edesignuk

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Original poster
Mar 25, 2002
19,077
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London, England
^ Indeed. They're only screwing themselves with this.

We're a fairly small office here (~100 people) and we do use Royal Mail a lot for letters and parcels. We also use other couriers too for stuff that needs to get somewhere quickly (same day).

Everyone is pretty sick to death of hearing that the post is all messed up. Sooner or later we will simply take all our business else where.

I don't wish job losses on anybody, but the time will come you you have to accept that changes are needed to survive. Trouble is these big unions won't, and they have the capability which they will use all too readily to cause massive disruption.
 

robbieduncan

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Jul 24, 2002
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London
You're actually talking about the Senior Civil Service pension there. The average non SCS pension is worth about £5,000 a year and if you're a new civil servant, less than 7 years in the job, you don't get a final salary pension anyway.
OK, then I accept my knowledge is somewhat off as it's based off the inflated "truths" in the media. Regardless final salary schemes of any sort are pretty much unworkable. The civil service (and I include the elected members in this) should be using the same schemes that are proposed/coming in for everyone else: contribution based schemes invested in the markets. If it's the best they can come up with for the general population (and I firmly believe that the civil service are as much behind these proposals as the Government) then it's good enough for them.
 

Queso

Suspended
Mar 4, 2006
11,832
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Damn! :) Wish it was HMRC. :eek:
They don't need any excuse to inconvenience people :p

The Post Office is a slowly dying entity. As time has gone on I also find myself trusting it less with the important stuff. Instead of registered or parcel post I now DHL important documents or business related packages. Yes it costs a bit more, but you can guarantee that it will be there when you need it to be.

So between the migration away to the couriers at the high-end and e-mail chipping away at the low end, the Post Office will have to change just to survive. Unfortunately the workers have to accept that.
 

oscillatewildly

macrumors 68000
Jul 17, 2007
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23 Railway Cuttings
Deaf management? Looks like more than one side.

General -

My understanding is that the EU required competition in the delivery sector. Companies coming in go after the profitable areas and leave the loss makers to Royal Mail. Stamp prices are kept too low. The Government removes services available through the Post Office, and then says it has to close branches because there isn't the business to justify them.

To me the post - delivery and shops - is a social service to be run at reasonable cost by the Nation for the Nation.

EU and competition - what a fine job they are doing re football and pay tv!

Cheers,
OW
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,174
15
London, England
^ Wow, Amazon? That's got to hurt. They shot themselves in the foot on this though.

It's a shame when crap like this happens because it does give unions a bad reputation. Unions can be a very good thing, when they're not taking the piss with unreasonable strikes.
 

arkitect

macrumors 603
Sep 5, 2005
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Well its official:

Strike is on… :(
Postal workers voted three to one in favour of action, with more than 60,000 out of 80,000 workers voting to strike
BBC link…

I guess if you feel your job is on the line it is difficult to view the "bigger picture", but this is very short sighted.
This could be the end of Royal Mail.
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
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Bristol, England
I've been wondering for a while now why someone like tesco doesn't get it's hand in in the post service.
They have a large network of stores, warehouses, delivery networks/vans. It probably wouldn't take much (comparatively) for them to set up shop. And you're already more likely to find a tesco in a town than a post office.
 

r1ch4rd

macrumors 6502a
Aug 5, 2005
980
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Manchester UK
OK, then I accept my knowledge is somewhat off as it's based off the inflated "truths" in the media. Regardless final salary schemes of any sort are pretty much unworkable. The civil service (and I include the elected members in this) should be using the same schemes that are proposed/coming in for everyone else: contribution based schemes invested in the markets. If it's the best they can come up with for the general population (and I firmly believe that the civil service are as much behind these proposals as the Government) then it's good enough for them.
The problem with Final Salary schemes is that all of the liability lies with the employer and none lies with the member. If things go wrong and there is a shortfall, it is the employer who has to cover it. In tough times, no employer wants to take this risk.

Unfortunately, the opposite is true of a Defined Contribution scheme where the member takes all of the risk. If there is a shortfall in your pension then tough luck!

In a final salary scheme, it is likely that the pension will be based on the members top earnings at the height of their career multiplied up by the amount of service and then various factors are applied. If you get a big pay rise at the end of your career, the cost of your pension will skyrocket, leaving your employer out of pocket.

A good compromise is a Career Average Revalued Earnings (CARE) scheme. This works on a similar basis to a Final Salary scheme, but is much less generous. With a CARE scheme there is a guaranteed amount of pension at the end of it, but the amount reflects a members entire career. Pension "blocks" are calculated on a yearly basis and remain in place until retirement. If you have a huge salary increase, only future accrual will see the benefit.

The liability here still lies with the employer, but the costs are much reduced and with contributions from both the member and employer, the risk is lower.

The idea of a final salary scheme isn't so bad, it's just that employers have been too generous during good times and are now feeling the affects in bad times.

Back on topic though... I have a very low opinion of Royal Mail at the best of times. Delivery to my flat is terrible. Post never arrives in the morning, and often not even on the day I expect. Constant strikes are not improving anything and just annoying customers further. If things continue to get worse, I doubt I will continue to support Royal Mail.
 

Peterkro

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Aug 17, 2004
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Amazon has not ditched it's PO contract it's merely looking at alternatives should the strike go ahead, thanks to the Guardian for posting a misleading article and then not removing it after it was pointed out it was incorrect. Amazon needs the PO more than the PO needs Amazon,£25 million is not such a big deal on a turnover of £9 billion. For anybody interested in the actual reasons for the dispute, as opposed to the outright propaganda being printed by the red tops (and the Guardian ) here is a postal workers take on what's happening:

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n18/maya01_.html

I'm loving the tone in this thread, ordinary workers are getting f*cked over left right and center and who's getting the blame? the very ones who are trying to fight back. All this stuff is happening to force the poor yet again to pay for the monumental balls up by the financial industry.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
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Pasadena CA
I've had enough. As a company, we use RM to send out DVD-ROM's and CD-ROM's for medical education. Having another strike is just a step to far. It's probably only £100 a month of postage - but it's time for us to find another means to do it. What alternatives are there? Anyone have experience with replacing RM?

If the Union wishes to further inconvenience our business with their strike - then the onus is on the consumer to inconvenience them by taking business elsewhere.

Need one highlight just how well the UK's automotive and coal industries are doing following extensive strike action? The purpose of RM is to deliver post, as efficiently and cheaply as possible. The union, in trying to stop them, is simply helping ensure that RM will die, like the other 'causes' they fought for in decades past.
 

Peterkro

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Aug 17, 2004
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I've had enough. As a company, we use RM to send out DVD-ROM's and CD-ROM's for medical education. Having another strike is just a step to far. It's probably only £100 a month of postage - but it's time for us to find another means to do it. What alternatives are there? Anyone have experience with replacing RM?

If the Union wishes to further inconvenience our business with their strike - then the onus is on the consumer to inconvenience them by taking business elsewhere.

Need one highlight just how well the UK's automotive and coal industries are doing following extensive strike action? The purpose of RM is to deliver post, as efficiently and cheaply as possible. The union, in trying to stop them, is simply helping ensure that RM will die, like the other 'causes' they fought for in decades past.
Good luck with your search for a cheaper more efficient service than the PO,Amazon can't but maybe you'll have better luck.The "causes" fought for in the past may not be important to you but things like a five day week,a eight hour day,no child labour,meal breaks etc etc are rights fought long and hard for by the unions you appear to despise and are very important to me and many others.