Industrial relations in 2020

Updated 22 December 2020


Royal Mail has today reached a framework agreement with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) on the strategy and future direction of Royal Mail, operational change, pay and job security.  This agreement ends the dispute which started in March 2020 and provides greater industrial relations stability for our people and our customers.

Rebalancing our focus
Royal Mail and CWU have committed to rebalance our focus and resources from the declining letters to the rapidly growing parcels market, creating a more efficient business that is better aligned to the changing needs of customers. Both parties recognise this will require new ways of working, a more flexible business, greater use of technology and the insight of our workforce. This will provide both job security and job opportunities for the future.

Swifter change
The agreement will allow the company to make more frequent revisions to the network and introduce the use of technology to improve both customer service and efficiency.  It will allow us to roll out new services to customers quicker. 
There will also be an improved dispute resolution process to enable agreement on change to happen more quickly.

Strategy and future direction of Royal Mail
A fundamental review of the operational network will conclude by April 2021 to support and build on proposals for the parcel network, maintain an efficient letters operation and prioritise investment for further expansion. This will include how we launch and operate our new parcel hubs and the introduction of dedicated van delivery duties for parcels, as well as exploring the opportunity for more frequent deliveries throughout the week, including Sundays.

We now need to work together with CWU to implement the changes we need, in order to capitalise on the significant growth we have seen in parcels so far this year. We continue to work with CWU to operationalise and finalise the detail on many aspects of this agreement. 

Customer focus
We have a window of opportunity to focus Royal Mail on what our customers want today - an ever-growing need for more parcels whilst providing a sustainable letters service. This agreement provides a framework to do just that.  

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