Four Pillars – Honouring our Agreement: Local Industrial Action Ballot Requests
Further to LTB 059/20 dated 4th February 2020 that contained the timetable for the national industrial action ballot, I am writing to advise Branches on the current situation concerning local ballot requests.
Branches will be aware that since the timetable was first published, the DGS(P) Department has been concentrating our efforts on ensuring that we will be in a position to issue the national industrial action notice to ballot on 25th February 2020. This ongoing work is being carried out in conjunction with both the General Secretary and SDGS Departments. Throughout this time however, the Postal Executive has continued to consider and endorse requests for local industrial action ballots for matters that are not directly linked to the current dispute.
In relation to local industrial action ballots that have been requested due to the current management executive action, these continue to be received and will be processed but we are clearly prioritising the national ballot.
In a recent Podcast Question and Answer Session with major Shareholders, Royal Mail Group Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Stuart Simpson was asked the following question by an individual from JP Morgan concerning the current approach to executive action by Royal Mail Group – “At what point do you think you may look to change strategy in terms of how you’re approaching the union, go for a bit more of a collaborative approach rather than you taking executive action. At what point might you look to compromise to resolve the impasse?”
In his response, Stuart Simpson said – “But actually we can keep just pressing on and that is what we’re doing and of course the union can then raise local disputes. They haven’t done so at the minute, we’ve got many offices going through change and we haven’t had a local ballot on it yet”.
Branches will recall that when I met with the business in January 2020, I made a request that executive action was stood down in order to de-escalate tensions and therefore provide the appropriate atmosphere for difficult negotiations. This was rejected and Stuart Simpson has now publicised the position of Royal Mail Group.
Stuart Simpson is however under the false impression that the executive action is not being opposed locally. I corrected this during a Facebook Live Session on 12th February 2020 where I outlined the fact that local ballot requests are being received in response to executive action and highlighted one in particular. Additionally, in correspondence with the Chief Transformation and Strategy Officer Achim Dunnwald, I have highlighted the fact that at CWU Headquarters we continue to deal with a growing number of local ballot requests.
I must reiterate that it is not the case that local ballot requests are not being submitted in response to executive action and Branches are encouraged to continue to maximise ballot requests where such action has been notified.
This is indeed the only process to ensure that Branches will be able to challenge executive action going forward and local ballot requests will continue to be progressed as soon as possible.
May I also take this opportunity to pay tribute to our members’ discipline in the face of such immediate and intense local managerial provocation designed to undermine our legal and democratic right to protest by withdrawing our labour.
Never Give Up.
Any enquiries in relation to the content of this LTB should be addressed to the DGS(P) Department.
Deputy General Secretary (Postal)