The DMA has waded further into the row over the long-running postal dispute by appearing to take a swipe at the union, branding this week’s decision to call more strikes in the run-up to Christmas “counter-intuitive”.
The industry body first called for an urgent resolution to the stand-off between Royal Mail and the CWU in the summer, urging both sides to thrash out a deal to prevent what it described as “yet another hardship for companies during extremely challenging economic times”.
However, the DMA’s calls went unheeded and both sides appeared to have dug in their heels; now they seem even further apart despite meeting this week at the conciliation service ACAS.
Royal Mail said it had proposed a new pay-for-change offer to the CWU worth 9% over two years, despite making a loss of £219m in the first half of the year. However, the CWU claimed members had been offered 7% over two years.
Union bosses went on to describe the offer as “derisory” and a “dramatic real-terms pay cut” with inflation at 10%, and announced its members will now walk out on November 24 and Black Friday (November 25), as well as two days after Cyber Monday, on November 30 and December 1.
The union also warned of further action in the run-up to Christmas.
In response to the move, DMA chief executive Chris Combemale told Decision Marketing: “The planned postal union strikes, on two of the busiest retail days during the calendar year, will have a devastating impact on both the millions of consumers and thousands of SMEs who rely on Royal Mail’s mailing services.
“With cost of living rising and the recovery from the pandemic still in its infancy, the financial losses, lost commercial opportunities, and ongoing postal delays will only cause long-lasting damage to a community under immense strain.
“While the DMA fully respects workers’ rights to have their say and be heard, this decision is counter-intuitive as ecommerce businesses are switching to couriers that do not have strikes planned and may not return to Royal Mail – creating further financial strains.
“The DMA is calling for a sensible and prompt resolution to this long-lasting stand-off.”
Earlier this week, the direct mail industry urged both sides to find a settlement before it is too late for many firms.
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