Royal Mail shares hit a two-year low today after it confirmed no union pay deal had been reached and that an agreement to protect jobs would be terminated.
The delivery giant told the Communication Workers Union (CWU) that it would scrap a nine-year deal to protect jobs and conditions, pushing the CWU to back down on strike action.
In a statement, it said it wants to “modernise” ways of working, including serving notice and reviewing a number agreements, which the company believe “have been used to resist change, frustrate the adoption of technology, and effectively veto our transformation.”
“After five months of talks and three days of damaging strike action, CWU continues to delay and block the changes we need to compete and protect jobs long-term. Royal Mail is losing £1million a day, and we need to break the impasse and move ahead with our transformation,” the firm said in a statement.
Royal Mail also proposed further talks via ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service), hoping to push talks with the union to the next stage.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said this move tried to “blindside” the union, and called for members to take part in upcoming strike action – scheduled for 30 September and 1 October.
“It couldn’t be more obvious to thousands of workers that this represents a new step in a plan to turn Royal Mail into something more like Uber. But this country’s postal workers are made of stronger stuff than the people currently running Royal Mail.”
Royal Mail shares plunged as much three per cent following the news, with the stock hitting its lowest point since late 2020 at 202p.
Negotiations over pay have been ongoing for the last five months, with the union rejecting a 5.5 per cent pay rise.