Saturday, 28 November 2009

Postal workers could strike again within weeks

LONDON, November 28 - British postal workers could renege on an agreement to suspend strike action until after Christmas because of a lack of progress in talks aimed at resolving a dispute on pay, jobs and modernisation. Billy Hayes, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), has written to members saying more strikes could be called within weeks because Royal Mail is refusing to offer enough concessions, British media reported on Saturday.
“Unless there is sufficient evidence of a change in management’s attitude, local agreements being reached and significant progress towards a full and final agreement, then we will have no alternative other than to return to strike action before Christmas,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Mr Hayes’ letter as saying.
Earlier this month Brendan Barber, the head of union umbrella group the Trade Union Congress and a mediator in talks between the two sides, said strike action had been suspended pending further efforts to settle the dispute and to prevent disruption of deliveries at the busiest time of year.
But the CWU letter goes on to say that a “strike-free Christmas” was not part of the interim agreement, the newspaper reported.

 More Here

This is like drawing teeth, as even these threats of strike action must be damaging business, as companies and people wonder if they should make other arrangements, or even not bother buying from an online retailer and  just save the worry and go into town.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

More threats of postal strikes to come over Xmas

Are we on the verge of a Christmas postal strike?

Saturday 21st November 2009

Despite hopes that the Royal Mail and unions had buried the hatchet and were looking to the future with regards to a long-term agreement, sources close to the Communication Workers Union have let it be known that talks are stalling and concern is growing. It seems as though, in private, the Communication Workers Union is looking to threaten further industrial action in the run-up to Christmas, something which all parties had been looking to avoid. So what has gone wrong?

Sources close to the union claim that the Royal Mail is continuing to stall over peace talks and if no progress is made over the next few days then we could see further problems in the short term. Quite why the Royal Mail is allegedly stalling over peace talks remains to be seen because ultimately the company and the union need to resolve various issues as soon as possible. Royal mail can ill afford to give away business and the unions can ill afford to put the long-term job security of their members at risk.

The rest here

All we need after such a crap year.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Christmas postal strike postponed

Thu 05 Nov 2009

LONDON (SHARECAST) - The prospect of major disruption to Christmas post receded today as the Post Office workers called off their planned strike tomorrow and Monday to allow talks to resume with management over modernisation plans.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said the decision had been made to provide "a period of calm" to enable a long-term deal to be thrashed out, though he added agreement over a deal remained a long way away.

Communications Workers Union deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the decision to end the strike action had been unanimously agreed by its executive board.

"We can now have a period of calm where we hope we can genuinely take forward modernisation in a way that puts the union at the centre," he said.

"It will take exceptional efforts to rebuild trust," he said. "But we will work very hard to ensure that the agreement stays on track," he added.

More here

Online Shopping: Postal Strike Concerns Unfounded

80% of online retailers that are Royal Mail clients offer
alternative delivery methods

LONDON--(Business Wire)--

Twenga, the shopping search engine, has carried out
research to predict how the Royal Mail strikes will
impact online retailers in the run up to Christmas.

Twenga investigated the delivery options offered by
the top 50 online retailers in the UK to see how
they handle delivery during the Royal Mail strikes.
The results show that 80% of those advertising
delivery of goods through Royal Mail before the strikes
now propose alternative delivery methods to their
customers, in most cases at no extra cost, or at
a reduced fee for express delivery. For example:

* Amazon offers delivery through a courier service
at noextra cost.
* HMV offers priority delivery through a courier
service at a reduced £3.50 fee.

Many retailers go to great lengths to make sure
customers are not inconvenienced, in particular:

* ASOS has extended its returns policy to 28 days, and
introduced a paid collection service to return goods
without using Royal Mail.

Online shopping is not dependent on Royal Mail

The reliance of online retailers on Royal Mail has been
greatly exaggerated.
Even before the strikes only 31% of online retailers
relied solely on Royal Mail, a figure now reduced as
online retailers react swiftly to customer delivery
needs. 54% offer in-store collection or a collection

Also some reports I have been reading from sellers on
ebid, is that the Royal Mail postal service has actually improved
since the strikes started.

But articles such as the one above should hopefully reassure buyers