DISPUTE RELATING TO THE ROYAL MAIL GROUP PROPOSAL TO CREATE PARCELFORCE LIMITED A SEPARATE LEGAL TRADING COMPANY WITHIN ROYAL MAIL GROUP
Further to the previous updates contained in LTB’s 610/19 & 638/19 we are writing to update Branches, Representatives and members on the latest developments regarding the above dispute, particularly given the widely reported events surrounding the decision of the High Court in relation to the Royal Mail Group Ballot.
Branches will be aware that the injunction handed down by the High Court did not extend to either of the separate ballots of Parcelforce members in relation to the above dispute or the Dispute Relating to Honouring the Four Pillars of Security & Pay/Guiding Principles National Agreement.
Given this and for the avoidance of doubt, the CWU remains at liberty to serve notice on the employer for Industrial Action in pursuance of the specific objectives in our dispute, based on the overwhelming mandate delivered by our Parcelforce members as part of the democratic ballot process.
The Postal Executive are considering all options in this regard to maximise the opportunity to achieve a negotiated settlement to the disputes which fully meet our objectives and the aspirations of our members.
The formal dispute Resolution Process with Parcelforce ended on the 7th November 2019 and a letter was received from Gary Simpson, Managing Director, Parcelforce Worldwide on the 8th November 2019 outlining the intentions of the business.
That letter confirmed that it currently remains the intention of the business:
To transfer the business Parcelforce Worldwide to Parcelforce Limited, a separate legal company that is wholly-owned by Royal Mail Group Limited on a date to be notified.
TUPE transfer the Parcelforce Worldwide employees to Parcelforce Ltd.
While Parcelforce have offered talks on other aspects of the dispute, the CWU has informed the company that there can be no resolution to the trade dispute in Parcelforce or across the wider Royal Mail Group, if the company chooses to proceed with the creation of a separate legal company for Parcelforce.
Branches will be aware from the contents of LTB 662/19 circulated on the 15th November 2019, that following the events of last week the DGS(P) wrote an open letter to Andy Good, Transformation Director, Royal Mail Group, in response to Royal Mail’s widely publicised offer of meaningful discussions to resolve that dispute.
The open letter set out the CWU’s views on the list of steps required to create a positive environment for meaningful talks, based on the outputs of the mediation processes. With regard to Parcelforce these include:
Imminent unilateral action in regard to the TUPE of our Parcelforce members and the creation of Parcelforce as a separate limited company is removed subject to the outcome of negotiations.
The negotiating structure for these negotiations should consist of one main negotiating group, supplemented by sub-groups with relevant additional expertise reporting back to the main group for sign off.
From the outset of negotiations, one of the sub-groups should deal with all aspects in dispute in Parcelforce and this group should include Representatives of Parcelforce Management and additional CWU expertise.
At the time of writing we have yet to receive a response from Royal Mail Group indicating whether they are willing to engage with the CWU in meaningful talks on the basis of the plan outlined in the open letter.
Branches are assured that the Union remain intractably opposed to the RMG proposal to create a separate limited company for Parcelforce and that the Postal Executive will continue to monitor the situation and review any necessary actions to protect the interests of our Parcelforce members.
Branches are asked to ensure that this LTB is brought to the attention of all Parcelforce members and is displayed on notice boards.
Any enquiries in relation to this LTB should be addressed to Davie Robertson, Assistant Secretary, email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org quoting reference number: 111.18.