Royal Mail’s Managing Director, Mark Higson, said the CWU’s decision to call a national strike next week was an appalling and unjustified attack on customers and showed a reckless disregard for everyone who depends on the company.
"Customers large and small have been hoping the CWU would lift the strike threats and focus on providing the service they need and want - instead the union has given them a slap in the face," said Mr Higson.
The company said that the CWU’s irresponsible action shows how false the CWU’s repeated promises have been over the last two months to call off strikes in return for a pause in Royal Mail’s programme of change and is yet another example of the union failing to honour what they say.
Mr Higson said: "The CWU’s strike announcement simply shows just how dishonest the union’s claim to embrace the need to modernise is - and underlines the union’s opposition to simple changes such as its members working flexibly for all of the hours they are paid and using the equipment provided to do the job. Instead the CWU is demanding an absolute veto over future change and modernisation - and demanding more money - backed up with strike action which they know will drive customers away."
"Yet again the CWU is reneging on its commitments. Over the last few months the CWU has repeatedly promised a moratorium on strikes in return for a pause in change at Royal Mail. More than two weeks ago we confirmed that we would be making no further changes this year. Since then the union has not only failed to deliver on a moratorium, but has called strikes in more than 150 delivery offices and has now announced a national strike which will further damage our customers and the entire postal service.
"Royal Mail has repeatedly told the union we’re prepared to talk for as long as it takes to resolve this dispute and we are hugely disappointed for our customers that the CWU has put strike notices on the table along with a list of fresh demands.
Mr Higson said: "The union seem to be in denial about the reality of the tough economic conditions facing everyone in the UK and the impact of competition, especially from email and the internet, which has helped drive mail volumes down by around 10% this year. Every 1% of lost business is costing Royal Mail some £70 million of lost revenue a year so Royal Mail has to reduce its costs and focus more strongly than ever on delivering consistent, high quality service. I again urge the union to step back from the drastic action it is threatening next week and put the interests of customers first."
Mr Higson stressed that Royal Mail remained committed to fully honouring the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement - which the CWU signed up to in the presence of the TUC and which involved a 6.9% pay award in return for the union’s support for modernisation and flexible working practices - and he urged the CWU again not to renege on the deal.