Royal Mail’s owner says the recent wave of strikes at the postal service have cost it £200 million so far.
Since August, there have been 18 days of walkouts due to a dispute with the Communication Workers Union over salary and working conditions.
Additionally, Royal Mail stated that fewer voluntary redundancies than initially anticipated will be required to meet job reduction goals.
Partly due to staff turnover, the amount would be “significantly” lower than the 5,000–6,000 it had previously predicted.
Since the summer, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Royal Mail have been at disagreement. In December, seven days of strikes forced Royal Mail to move up its last-suggested posting dates for Christmas mail.
Nevertheless, the business stated that up to 12,500 CWU workers had shown up for work on strike days. The walkouts have impacted around 115,000 CWU employees.
As a result of its “robust contingency planning,” it also delivered more than 600 million letters and 110 million packages in December.
The letter and parcels business lost £295 million in the nine months leading up to the end of December, according to Royal Mail’s owner International Distributions Services.
The nine-month period’s revenue was down 12.8% from the previous year. This was partially due to the strike action, but it was also brought on by “weaker retail trends” and a continued decline in the amount of letters being sent.
The disagreement with the CWU is still ongoing, and the union has begun its third ballot for industrial action this week.
Pay is a crucial issue in the current industrial action, as it is in other industrial action like those involving the railways and the NHS. As the cost of living rises, workers are demanding wage increases.
The rate of inflation, which measures how quickly prices grow, is at its highest point in roughly 40 years.
Royal Mail has proposed a wage increase of up to 9% over 18 months, but the CWU is demanding more considering the rate of inflation.
The union also strongly disagrees with anticipated modifications to working conditions, such as the elimination of some allowances and the implementation of mandatory Sunday work.
In addition to the conflict with the CWU, Royal Mail is attempting to address issues brought on by a cyber-attack.
Due to the incident, the company was initially unable to deliver mail and packages abroad.
It has been telling customers not to ship new packages internationally for the time being, which has been hurting many small businesses, even though it is now accepting new letters for overseas.