On Thursday morning Dave Ward received a call from the CEO, the previous day Dave Ward was in discussions with MP’s from across all sides. Too add Wednesday & Thursday was filled with branch communications with each other with the real risk the executive action was very close to going unofficial with our members refusing to change their attendance patterns.
On Thursday Dave & Terry had a conference call with the CEO and RM senior management – the tone of the meeting (from them), had totally changed to what it had been for 18 months or so. The CEO was and is under serious pressure now from major share – holders and Ofcom and the government. The Conservative minister and Ofcom have made it clear to Royal Mail – any permanent change to the USO requires parliamentary permission (as stated by the small businesses minister’s letter in our previous email).
As a result the following has been restored:
• The IR framework
• Volunteers only for duty pattern change with a (national) two week review up to the 11th June
The sequenced mail will be held back but manual mail will be included in the Friday/Saturday waves – perhaps to use non-drivers on a Saturday for IPS/Prep, but if you have been running with nights I think your DOMs will keep them running for a while (COVID). Whether this means the overtime back – it is a suck it and see for next week as they will probably assess the packet situation on Weds/Thurs to see if a packet delivery only situation is making a dent. Next weekend for example may be a challenge being that Friday is the bank holiday as well as Monday.
What is very clear (overall) is that the “essential workers” status of our members played a huge part in the political pressure allied to our social media presence and national postal workers day (TV exposure on Wednesday etc). Please make our members aware of this – the public love the postal workers plain and simple – and respect our members for their bravery at this difficult time.
Future Talks – There will now be talks on the financial situation of the company and how the slow climb back of the letters will happen (we are in a very unique situation in which the letter traffic may never recover). The COVID situation has and will change a lot of things, globally, socially and financially. The financial industry supplies us with the majority of mail traffic and should they not recover or a very slow recovery may have a huge impact on us – although we are confident of facing them up, but this road will be bumpy and may result in a significantly smaller workforce (on MTFS” terms).
Whether this leaves Royal Mail PLC as profitable to the financial world (with its political constraints as well as the USO) remains to be seen. As mentioned, the current crisis is unprecedented and permanent change will happen to the likes of which we may never have seen before in our lifetimes, (socially more good than bad we hope).
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