Royal Mail chief Simon Thompson pushes back against claims that union members are being intimidated as strike action continues today.
Speaking on Sky News this morning, the delivery boss said: “On strike action days we’ve seen some extraordinary behaviours,” including allegations of sexism, racism and threats of violence.
Thompson said it is not something Royal Mail “would never tolerate,” explaining that any complaints are being looked at.
It comes after Communication Workers Union (CWU) leader Dave Ward told Sky News that the company had “intimidated” members of staff during industrial action.
The CWU has already taken action on 24 November, as well as the crucial online shopping day Black Friday, and has a further eight days planned. These include:
- Wednesday November 30
- Thursday December 1
- Friday December 9
- Sunday December 11
- Wednesday December 14
- Thursday December 15
- Friday December 23
- Christmas Eve
The CWU represents more than 100,000 of Royal Mail’s 140,000 workers, and has consistently argued for a pay rise in line with soaring inflation.
The union rejected the firm’s “best and final pay offer” last week, criticising Royal Mail’s “aggressive strategy”.
“These proposals spell the end of Royal Mail as we know it, and its degradation from a national institution into an unreliable, Uber-style gig economy company,” CWU said in a statement.
The negotiations have now reached a gridlock, with no further negotiations tabled.
Royal Mail has resorted to using gig economy app Ryde in a bid to minimise postie strike disruption.
Although the company usually employs agency staff during the busy Christmas period, the measure has been brought forward, and is the first time it has resorted to using an Uber-style workforce to process its deliveries.
It comes as the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents more than 100,000 of Royal Mail’s 140,000 workers, continues its ten day walkout over pay.
A union source said the delivery giant has been feeling increasing pressure since BT settled its own pay dispute with the CWU last week.
“Nobody’s denying the BT fight was tough, but resolution was reached because BT bosses know it’s needed to do business well,” they told City A.M.
“I’ve lost count of the shareholders getting in touch to express their concern that Simon Thompson doesn’t get it at all.”
It is understood that some of the striking CWU members have signed up to Ryde app to boycott the company’s attempt to manage workload– signing up for Royal Mail shifts for Ryde and then not turning up to work.
Royal Mail has told customers to “allow plenty of time” for posting items this year.