Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have reached an agreement in principle following a long-running dispute over pay and employment terms.
In a joint statement with Royal Mail, CWU confirmed the agreement will now be considered by the executive of the union before it goes before the membership.
The details of the proposed agreement will be made public once it has been ratified by the union’s executive committee – expected to take place next week.
In a further statement, the CWU said: “We have reached a negotiators agreement with Royal Mail Group.
“The CWU Postal Executive will now meet and consider the agreement on Monday and Tuesday and we are putting in place plans to brief representatives across the union’s structures.
“On the basis that the negotiators agreement is endorsed by the Postal Executive, we will put in place a full communications plan to engage members. Thank you for your support and patience. It has got us to this point.”
11 months of negotiations
The two sides have been locked in bitter negotiations for 11 months over pay, jobs, and conditions for the 112,000-strong workforce.
There were 18 strike dates called last year and 2023 has seen the union and Royal Mail attempt to make progress at conciliation service Acas, with former TUC general secretary Sir Brendan Barber also joining the effort to deliver peace this month.
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The CWU secured a fresh mandate for industrial action in mid-February and would have to give seven days’ notice of any fresh walkouts.
The union had described the company’s self-dubbed modernisation plans as an “Uberisation”, declaring that it would turn Royal Mail into a gig economy-style employer.
How much strikes have cost Royal Mail
Royal Mail’s parent firm has raised its estimate for the cost of industrial action so far to £200m and claimed that up to 12,500 union members have worked on strike days.
International Distributions Services (IDS) said 18 days of walkouts helped push the division to a £295m operating loss in the first nine months of its financial year to the end of December.
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It reported that revenue at Royal Mail was down almost 13% on the same period in 2021, with a decline in letter volumes and COVID testing kits also contributing.