Royal Mail Strike – End in sight
The executive of the CWU (Communication Workers Union) agreed on 22nd October to back a deal with the Royal Mail.The offer includes a 6.9% pay increase over 18 months and is being put to a ballot of CWU members.If the members accept the offer, it will bring to a close the first national postal dispute for over a decade and an end to the series of strikes this autumn which has cost the Royal Mail 'tens of millions' of pounds and provoked anger among small businesses (The Guardian, 23rd October 2007).
The dispute arose from issues of pay, pension reform and changes to working practices, which were central to Royal Mail's plans to modernise its operations and make it competitive with other postal operators and other communications media (The Times, 4th October 2007).The CWU had believed it could lead to the loss of up to 40,000 jobs (The Times, 30th January 2006).
Dave Ward, the CWU's deputy general secretary, said the agreement that had been reached reflected:”the fact that change in the company will only be managed with the union and the workforce. We have made significant gains on pay and related issues and the union's role in negotiating change in the workplace has been strengthened”.(CWU, 22nd October 2007)
John Hutton, the secretary of state for Business and Enterprise, urged CWU members to support their union's recommendation.He told the all-party Trade and Industry select committee that:”the dispute had caused 'significant' damage to business and the wider economy”, adding that:”Some bulk customers may receive compensation.In relation to the Royal Mail we will not be clear about how permanent the damage has been for some time”. Forbs.com/AFX News Limited, 22nd October 2007)
Small businesses also welcomed the agreement. Nick Dines, head of communications at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: ”This is good news for small businesses in the UK who have essentially been held at ransom by the CWU. The strike has shown that although in theory the monopoly on delivery has been broken, the reality is that there is no cost-effective alternative to Royal Mail. Management and the union must ensure that crippling strikes like this do not happen again”. (The Guardian, 22nd October 2007)
Take a look at The Times 100 case study about Unison to understand the wider role of unions in business.
Potential Study Questions
- What effects might arise for the public and the business community as a result of the series of strikes at Royal Mail?
- What are the benefits to employees of being a member of a union?
- Discuss the importance to large national companies of good industrial relations
- Evaluate the effect of the series of postal strikes on a mail order business, both short term and long term.
Do we need standards?
Why are standards so important? Learn more about the importance of standards in our Student & Teacher resource website. Visit the website
NFTE Enterprise Education Programme
The Times 100 Business Studies resource is delighted to announce it has negotiated exclusive arrangements which will enable teachers to receive significantly discounted Enterprise Education programmes from The Enterprise Education Trust. More information
Enterprise Rent-a-Car – The Importance of Customer Service
This case study demonstrates the importance that Enterprise Rent-A-Car places on the role of excellent customer service in growing the business.
Featured Lesson Plan – Market Leadership AS
- to understand the purposes of a marketing strategy
- to understand the product life cycle concept
- analyse meaning of 'product' and 'market' orientation
More lesson plans on:
Featured MP3 – Meeting Needs in a Competitive Sector
These can be downloaded for use on a computer, MP3 player or mobile phone Go Ahead – Meeting needs in a competitive sector.
Featured Quizzes on New Markets and New Products
Experian – Quizzes available on: New markets and new products, External influences
work experience booklets helping with Enterprise and Ofsted
Experience enterprise booklets developing enterprise through work experience
Experience Enterprise is a guide to developing enterprise for students to complete before, during and after work experience. Experience Enterprise has been put together to meet recent DfES and Ofsted requirements for Enterprise in the curriculum.
- It benefits students by developing enterprise skills including problem solving an engaging structure for their time on work experience
- It eases teachers workloads by contributing to the students' five days entitlement to enterprise learning with a cost-effective solution.
- Provides a structure to guide work experience supervisors
The booklets cost £1 per student booklet – minimum order 30 booklets. Delivery is FREE on orders over 100!
Simply email email@example.com with your full postal address for your FREE inspection copy.
We have developed a pack of posters to highlight the key enterprise processes:
The Enterprise Process
Business and Economic Understanding
Simply email for more details.