Royal Mail managers do “unpaid equivalent of 1,800 jobs a year”

Ahead of a ballot for national industrial action, trades union Unite has published the results of a survey of its Royal Mail managers that show they work the equivalent of “1,800 jobs’ worth of unpaid overtime a year”.

The survey of 1,000 Royal Mail managers in spring showed they are giving 7,767 ‘free’ hours of unpaid overtime per week, which is the equivalent of 1,800 extra jobs if that was extrapolated over the working year and the total managerial population of the postal operator.

Unite published the research as 2,400 managers across more than 1,000 workplaces are being balloted for strike action and industrial action short of a strike. The postal workers union the CWU is also balloting its members separately, which could cause major disruption for Royal Mail later in summer as it tackles disputes with frontline workers and managers alike. The ballot is due to close on 29 June.

The dispute between managers and Royal Mail is over plans to remove 542 delivery managers on top of 450 staff already made redundant as well as a redeployment programme that will bring in what the union views as worsening terms and conditions for the managers.

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.”  

Unite national officer with responsibility for Royal Mail, Mike Eatwell added: “The results of the survey of our members are a damning indictment of the top management and the way they run the Royal Mail. It should also act as a strong incentive for them to get around the negotiating table or face a strike.

“A strike by our hard-pressed and overworked managers would cause a summer of chaos to letter and parcel deliveries – now is the time to talk.”

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