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We'll *Do Something" about the strikes

(135 Posts)
Wyllow3 Thu 08-Dec-22 08:36:39

...says Sunak at PMQ's.

But what has he in mind? And what consequences?

Ilovecheese Thu 08-Dec-22 10:47:22

Grannygravy but we are sending more parcels. They should be able to make enough profit from that to subsidise the letter post. I would have preferred the Royal Mail not to have been sold off, then the letter post could possibly have been treated as a public service.
As regards cheques, it wasn't really us that wanted to stop sending them was it, more the lack of bank branches to take them to.

Blossoming Thu 08-Dec-22 11:03:11

Just ask your local postie what is happening to Royal Mail before you make assumptions about pay and the unions. Management want to make thousands of them redundant. They want temporary contracts. They want to change their working hours. They want Sunday deliveries. Etc etc and all with a ridiculously low rate of pay.

Would you walk around carrying a heavy bag for hours in the pouring rain for £10 an hour?

Whitewavemark2 Thu 08-Dec-22 11:05:34

I think that Royal Mail are one of the worst employers.

Glorianny Thu 08-Dec-22 11:12:40

I dread to think what Sunak has in mind. Make the right to strike illegal? Let's not forget that the Tories brought in huge restrictions on that already and that strikes only go ahead when a large proportion of the workforce agree. The terms and conditions attached to the rail settlement would cause problems for all travellers. As for where will the money come from? Well the bonuses and wages of those at the top could be used to help out and the massive profits made could be cut. As Mick Lynch says "there's plenty of money in the economy, it's just in the hands of the wrong people".

GrannyGravy13 Thu 08-Dec-22 11:13:45

I agree we are sending more parcels, but I think it’s the courier service which has and is benefiting from this.

The courier companies deliver seven days a week from early morning till late evening, you can order something from Amazon in the morning and it is delivered the same evening. Unfortunately the Royal Mail as it stands cannot compete with Evri (Hermes), DPD etc.

For the RM to continue it has to refresh its business model to make it current for 2022 and beyond.

As for the NHS, I think the elephant in the room is agency staff. It must be disheartening to be doing the same job alongside a colleague you know is earning twice as much because they are there via an agency.

If the Trusts can afford agency staff it’s not rocket science to pay their contracted staff more without the agency fees, they are finding the money at the moment! Why has nobody put this to the government (or have they)?

I have listened to many discussions regarding the various rail workers who are striking and again some of the sticking points seem to be modernisation.

The one that sticks in my mind is that there is rolling stock fitted with diagnostic equipment that can detect faults on the rails quicker than the current system of men walking the lines which is in itself dangerous . The unions are not fans of this apparently.

All organisations have to move forward and in doing so have to find a way to take the workforce with them. To not do so will leave the U.K. as a 20th century backwater as opposed to a 21st century forward thinking Country.

The above needs direction and leadership from the very top, Government. For too long the Conservatives have been obsessed with untying links with the EU and the Labour party has been infighting and navel gazing.

I truly hope that by the next election that all parties have a manifesto of hope and innovation, but I will not hold my breath.

Katie59 Thu 08-Dec-22 11:32:50

The problem I’m sure is that parcel delivery persons are paid way less than Royal Mail employees.

Unless anyone knows different

That aside 90% of my mail is junk mail

Blossoming Thu 08-Dec-22 11:35:35

Anybody else think we’re heading towards a general strike?

winterwhite Thu 08-Dec-22 11:36:59

Much more sympathy with public sector strikers now than 30 years ago because much greater awareness of corporate greed as shown in directors' salaries, also more threats to working conditions and job security.
Plus govt mismanagement of just about everything and conspicuous waste of huge amounts of money and behaviour like that of Baroness Mone. It isn't to be wondered at workers are using the only counter-weapons they can.

Curtaintwitcher Thu 08-Dec-22 11:37:13

All this will weaken our country even further and make it more vulnerable. What just happened in Germany could so easily happen here....a military take-over might be a good thing though. A bit of discipline is much needed.

Mollygo Thu 08-Dec-22 11:40:04


The problem I’m sure is that parcel delivery persons are paid way less than Royal Mail employees.
I suspect you are right, and some of them will be on zero hours contracts. That’s such an iniquitous system.
That doesn’t make the Royal Mail employees’ claims unfair. It’s just difficult to see how losing their custom to the other firms is going to help Royal Mail survive.

My most exciting junk mail is from Farm Foods, which tells me what’s on offer and offers me a discount if I remember to take the coupon.

Chardy Thu 08-Dec-22 12:02:33

Royal Mail has paid £1.9bn to shareholders since 2013 privatisation.
CEO Simon Thompson was paid £753,000 last financial year.

My postie is worried about his pension.

Dinahmo Thu 08-Dec-22 12:32:13

it is about time that companies thought more about their employees' salaries and less about that of their directors salaries and bonuses and the dividends paid. They seem to have forgotten that without their workers there would be no business and therefore no emoluments.

On Laura Keunssberg on Sunday the Chair of Currys was discussing this and mentioned in passing that their employees had received pay increases of 15.6% in the period since October 2021. He explained that the company valued their employees and wanted to keep them.

Compare this with Royal Mail, the biggest shareholder of which is a Czech billionaire called Daniel Kretinsky. As mentioned above the company wants to change working practices. The same applies to rail.

Katie59 Thu 08-Dec-22 12:40:22


All this will weaken our country even further and make it more vulnerable. What just happened in Germany could so easily happen here....a military take-over might be a good thing though. A bit of discipline is much needed.

You can think it but not speak out, big brother might be watching!.

Chocolatelovinggran Thu 08-Dec-22 12:45:03

Curtaintwitcher. I am not sure that " discipline" is the answer. Without trades unions actions, we would still see children working, no sick pay, no maternity rights and poor health and safety provision. These were not granted by wealthy pit owners/ mill and factory magnates, they were wrested from their grasping fists by workers joining together- starting with the Tolpuddle Martyrs. We allow these rights to be eroded at our peril- or, more likely, the peril of our children and grandchildren.

MaizieD Thu 08-Dec-22 13:00:27

Royal Mail are making profits, even the 'domestic' (letters) division

They may have competition from the couriers for parcels, but if I were a business I think I'd use them rather than couriers as I think they are probably more reliable and already have established routes to everywhere in the UK.

Privatisation was, as in most of our public services, a very poor idea as there are always shareholders, who contribute nothing to the business, taking a large part of the profits.

MaizieD Thu 08-Dec-22 13:01:38


All this will weaken our country even further and make it more vulnerable. What just happened in Germany could so easily happen here....a military take-over might be a good thing though. A bit of discipline is much needed.

How is it going to 'weaken our country'? Please explain.

icanhandthemback Thu 08-Dec-22 13:09:55

For a long time I have not ordered stuff online where they use Royal Mail/Parcel Force. They are just not reliable enough time wise and if I am posting they always find a get out clause to avoid paying any compensation. I can't count how many notifications I have received saying I will get my delivery today only to find they really meant tomorrow! I don't get that with any other delivery company, even the ones with a less envious reputation.

MaizieD Thu 08-Dec-22 13:13:45

In the old days, when shareholders were actually direct investors in a company, not just share speculators, they took the risk that if company profits weren't enough to pay a dividend they wouldn't get one. Now it is just expected that they will and some companies actually borrow money to pay dividends. This is crazy.

Companies also use profits to buy back their shares to inflate the 'value' of the company and attract more share speculators. This is also crazy.

I know we've had these debates before, but I think that the 'financial markets', solely focussed on profit taking, completely distort economies and have far too much influence without any responsibility.

Barmeyoldbat Thu 08-Dec-22 13:14:51

I agree with you Blossoming, I talked to my postie and Royal Mail paid over i billion to shareholders but offered them 9p an hour rise plus other changes. Absolutely disgraceful. I support all the strikes, We have workers claiming UC to top up wages using food banks etc. it is everybodies right in my mind, whatever their job to be able to strike.

eazybee Thu 08-Dec-22 13:15:56

I believe generally the public support an increase in wages for some workers, (not train drivers) but do not support strike action because it is bullying those who have no power to influence the outcome. The salary overall of those earning large sums at the top, usually through bonuses, needs to be scrutinised and a fairer division of wages established, but the answer to that is always, if they don't get sufficient money they will go elsewhere. I am inclined to say let them, a chance for others to show their capability.

volver Thu 08-Dec-22 13:20:58

Why do you think we don't support the train workers eazybee? Because you think they earn enough already and should just suck it up?

I've never felt bullied by someone on strike. I've felt inconvenienced a bit, but never bullied.

Blossoming Thu 08-Dec-22 13:31:47

I’m a member of the public and I support the strikers.

grannydarkhair Thu 08-Dec-22 13:51:27

Just had a chat with my regular lovely postman. I told him I was fully in support of him striking and he got quite emotional.
He’s been a postie for 30+ years, he’s in his early 50s, so still has many years to work until he reaches retirement age. His wife wants him to look for a different job, but he’s always loved it, has had periods working only indoors but much prefers being out and about on deliveries.
He said he never thought he’d strike but feels there really is no alternative.

Riverwalk Thu 08-Dec-22 14:16:38

Talking of Royal Mail - I know it's a long time since it was started by Henry V111 but why is it still called 'Royal' when it's now a private company?

The stamps have the monarch's profile - why not the CEO's?

Even in the US, the mail service is government owned.

Wyllow3 Thu 08-Dec-22 14:24:29


Anybody else think we’re heading towards a general strike?

No. Different social conditions.

What occurs to me is that the government simply doesn't have a plan at all. They are flailing around without a clue.