CWU launches 'no confidence' action against Royal Mail CEO

Jo Francis
Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Workers at Royal Mail delivery offices across the UK have been pictured supporting a ‘no confidence’ motion in CEO Simon Thompson, in the latest salvo against Royal Mail management organised by the CWU.

CWU: social media campaign gets personal
CWU: social media campaign gets personal

At gate meetings held this morning (22 November), postal workers at dozens of depots were pictured showing their agreement with the statement: “[Location name] have no confidence in Royal Mail Group CEO Simon Thompson #StandByYourPost.”

In response, a Royal Mail spokesman commented: “We fully acknowledge the importance of reaching a resolution to our pay and change dispute for our people and our customers. 

“After four weeks of talks facilitated by Acas, we shared with CWU our views on what we believed the shape of a deal could look like, including numerous improvements and a pay offer of up to 9%. 

“The CWU responded by making several false and misleading claims about the detail of what we were proposing and launching personal attacks. 

“We don’t believe this is the way to conduct serious negotiations, and it goes against what we agreed at the start of the Acas process.”

The spokesman added: “The CWU has shared its alternative proposals which we are reviewing and expect to get round the table to discuss again on Tuesday.”

Dozens of delivery offices have taken part in today's campaign

However, alongside the very visible support for the CWU’s position at local level, some of the responses on social media questioned the point of the gate meetings and no confidence vote. 

Nick (@Nickvilla20) said: “This just seems juvenile to be honest. I have no confidence in the Royal Mail board but these are they people we have to get an agreement with. Pulling stunts like this doesn’t do anybody any favours.”

Tom Watson (@skybluetom87) also disagreed with the ploy: “This is just cringeworthy and will probably further convince those flaking on the strike that the union is out of ideas. Bad idea.”

A number of posts made by Thompson on Royal Mail’s internal social media platform have also been shared on Twitter. 

In one, he references the latest written agreement submitted by Royal Mail, including “a number of new elements that are very positive – CWU now need to read it, and reflect on it…”

Thompson stated: “But I want to be very clear – on the next day of strike action – we will stop talking.”

He added: “As I said on last week’s results call – our preference, my preference is to have an agreement with the CWU so they can stand alongside us – to turn Royal Mail around. 

“And this is the key point – what we need to see is behaviour change.”

Further strike action involving around 120,000 postal workers is scheduled for later this week on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November (Black Friday), and also next week on Wednesday 30 November and Thursday 1 December, which follow Cyber Monday – another one of the busiest online shopping days.

Last week the CWU announced a raft of additional potential strike dates that would impact deliveries in the run-up to Christmas, including Christmas Eve, if no agreement is reached.

The disruption is impacting deliveries of direct mail, catalogues and time-sensitive publications. 

The share price of Royal Mail’s parent group International Distributions Services (IDS) has lost nearly 53% of its value since the start of the year. 
















Printweek welcomes informed debate, but all comments must comply with our house rules which can be read here: A-Z of using the Printweek forums


© MA Business Limited 2023. Published by MA Business Limited, St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. 06779864. MA Business is part of the Mark Allen Group .