Royal Mail depending on ‘1,800 unpaid jobs’ as Unite prepares to strike to save 542 posts

Survey reveals stretched workers denied breaks and annual leave

Managers at the Royal Mail, currently being balloted for industrial action over threatened job losses, work ‘nearly 1,800 jobs’ worth of unpaid overtime a year’, Unite the union has said.

A Unite survey of 1,000 of its Royal Mail managers undertaken in the spring revealed that they are giving the company 7,767 ‘free’ hours per week which is equivalent to about 1,800 extra jobs, if extrapolated over the working year and the total managerial population of the company.

The damning findings come as about 2,400 managers across over 1,000 workplaces are being balloted for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The ballot is due to close on Wednesday 29 June – and the union warned that letter and parcel delivery chaos was on the cards this summer.

The dispute centres on plans to remove 542 frontline delivery managers, on top of the already 450 jobs axed, alongside a redeployment programme to bring in worsening terms and conditions.

In November 2021, Royal Mail recorded a £311 million profit.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “While the boardroom is awash with profits, Unite’s Royal Mail managers are effectively holding the business together on unpaid overtime.

“Instead of these senseless plans to sack 542 workers and drive down pay, Royal Mail should be addressing why this business is relying on our members’ sacrifices to keep the service operating as customers expect.

“Yet again, another UK business is being jeopardised by the misguided priorities and boardroom greed. Unite will continue to oppose these attacks on our members every step of the way.”  

Full article available on the Unite the Union website.