Royal Mail and CWU agree on a mediator

The Communications Workers Union and Royal Mail have appointed Prof Lynette Harris to mediate their industrial dispute over pay, pensions and the other issues they are clashing over.

Royal Mail said in a statement: “We are pleased to be entering a new phase of talks. Our priority is to reach agreement with the CWU. We are committed to using the mediation process to do just that. Moya Greene, CEO, will lead these talks for Royal Mail.

“Mediation will bring both parties together, with a third party, to seek the right outcome for employees, customers and the business.

“In total, the procedures allow seven weeks for negotiations from the appointment of a mediator. If we do not reach agreement, the union is required by law to give a minimum of two weeks’ notice of any industrial action after mediation has finished. This means that the process will take close to Christmas to be completed, and may be longer.

“Given the complexity of the issues under discussion and the shared appetite to reach agreement, we anticipate that discussions could be extended to facilitate an agreement.

“Royal Mail remains committed to reaching agreement with the CWU.”

As previously reported, CWU members had voted in favour of taking industry action – but a High Court ruling determined that they would have to pursue the mediation route first. If the mediation fails then the delaying actions in the courts could backfire for Royal Mail with strikes right in the middle of the peak season.

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