The Royal Mail are due to strike once more this week on December 23rd to December 24th on the run up to Christmas. Glyn Roberts, the chief executive of the industry body Retail NI, believes that the disruption that this and other strikes are causing to businesses and the wider general public should be averted by both sides getting around a table and coming to an agreement. At the moment this does not seem at all likely with both sides becoming more entrenched in their views.
Causing Disruption To Retailers And Consumers
Mr Roberts is quoted in the Belfast Newsletter saying:
“There’s no doubt that certain retailers do rely on Royal Mail and there is no doubt that it will cause disruption, not only for a certain kind of retailer but also for consumers as well,” he said.
“It is obviously disappointing that it’s taking place so close to Christmas. We do need to see a resolution to this, and indeed to all of these strikes. There should be a solution on what the solutions are, rather than what the problems are, and we would call for leadership around this. We would encourage both sides to engage in intensive negotiations to try and get a way forward.”
He continued: “I think there is, across our membership, concern about the sheer number of strikes happening right across the board.
A Perfect Storm Facing Us This Christmas
“It’s almost a perfect storm of challenges we’re facing this Christmas from severe weather to the industrial situation, to a cost-of-doing business crisis, right through to people not getting the £600 they have been due this side of Christmas. The term ‘permacrisis’ I think sums up just where we are and where our members see the situation.
“In relation to the postal workers’ strike, the only way we can see that resolved is with a deal. It’s the only sure way we can address this problem.”
In the same article a spokesperson for the Royal Mail is quoted, saying:
“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”
It is all rather a mess with the public and businesses in the middle of this situation, with strikes from most of the essential services we all rely on across the country likely in the next few weeks. The government in Westminster do not seem to want to budge an inch on the issue of pay so it appears we are in for a harsh cold winter in every respect.