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POSTAL workers have urged Royal Mail to “sit down seriously” with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) after the union dismissed the company’s latest offer of a deal as an “absolute disgrace.”
The Royal Mail group announced late on Friday night that it had offered a new settlement to its workers, who voted overwhelmingly in October for strike action over ongoing problems with pay and conditions.
On a video posted to Twitter, an actor employed by Royal Mail said the company wished to enter into “detailed talks” with CWU representatives about their new proposal, which includes a three-year pay deal.
The offer also includes proposals on supplying employees with better works equipment, and a revision of service routes, which many postal workers believe are currently unmanageable.
It also warned that the ongoing confrontation could lead to the company’s decline, after shares in Royal Mail sunk to an all-time low last week.
Workers are currently balloting for a second time for strike action, after Royal Mail was successful in gaining a High Court injunction on the strike in November.
Royal Mail public affairs managing director Shane O’Riordain insisted that they want to “reach an agreement” with the CWU.
However, the union’s Twitter account hit back, saying: “Rather than try and negotiate with our members via actors and actresses it would be great if you stopped moving ahead with unagreed changes and sat down seriously with the union.”
CWU assistant general secretary Terry Pullinger dismissed the proposals, pointing out that Royal Mail’s offer effectively shelves agreements made during discussions in 2018.
This includes the commitment to reduce employees’ working week to 32 hours, which Mr Pullinger said the company “shook hands on.”
He said: "[The video] was meant for external people — it was meant for shareholders to try and make it look as if this union won’t negotiate.
“They are fundamentally tearing up and trying to erase from history the 2018 agreement and it is an absolute disgrace.
“We are dealing with amateurs. We are dealing with shysters and we will defend ourselves.
“We will not back off and we will fight for this great public service.”
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Our members will respond in the strike ballot next month.”
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