Union bosses are set to call more Royal Mail strikes if the latest talks over pay fall through again.
A Communication Workers Union (CWU) source said negotiations at the Acas conciliation service were slated for today (Thursday, March 30), but if significant progress is not made the following day, more walkouts could be called.
The row has now been going on for 11 months, with stalling talks over salary, jobs, and working conditions for the 112,000-strong workforce.
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Both parties are extremely frustrated with the lack of progress, and each blames each other.
Last year, 18 strike dates were announced, and in 2023, the union and Royal Mail attempted to reach an agreement at Acas.
The union is expected to respond to Royal Mail’s latest set of proposals on Thursday.
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The union source expressed optimism that the most recent meeting would build on some “positive” elements but didn’t have much hope.
Royal Mail could even try to put the part of the firm that delivers mail six days a week into administration without a deal.
While the firm is committed to a settlement, it insists it must be affordable and aligned with its plans to make Royal Mail more competitive, including over Sunday working.
Sky News reported should the union call new strike dates, the loss-making company’s board would not seek a drastic response by declaring an insolvency, as has been reported, at least in the immediate future.
The CWU and Royal Mail have both declined to comment publicly on the possibility of administration.
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A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have been clear throughout the dispute that significant transformation of our network and working practices is essential for the business to survive.
“It is not sustainable for the business to be losing more than £1 million a day. Change cannot continue to be delayed.
“If CWU persists with further strike action, this would only serve to threaten the job security of our postmen and women and make our pay offer unaffordable.”
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said Royal Mail’s finances were down to how the company dealt with the dispute and that a proposed three-year pay deal was “not good enough.”
Source: Sky News
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