Isle of Man Post Office (IOMPO) and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) held further talks, both yesterday (Wednesday) and Tuesday, to discuss their ongoing dispute regarding a range of pay and pension reforms with the assistance of the Manx Industrial Relations Service (MIRS).
IOMPO moved further on its proposals to try and conclude the negotiations and avoid a strike. Mr Pullinger and his committee members were putting the latest offer to their members at a meeting yesterday evening (Wednesday).
While further talks are scheduled, IOMPO needs to provide advance notice to its customers during the CWU’s planned three-day walk-out next week, which if it goes ahead, will take place from 05.30hrs on Thursday 14th February until 18:00 on Saturday 16th February 2019.
Simon Kneen, Chief Executive of IOMPO said: “We have had some useful discussions over the past couple of days with the CWU, however we have not as yet been able to reach a mutual agreement. Whilst we will continue talks, we appreciate the uncertainty and potential further disruption for our valued customers. We wish to reassure our customers that we have strong operational contingency plans in place and express our sincere apologies to customers whose services may be affected if the strike goes ahead. The strike is scheduled for one of IOMPO’s busiest days of the year outside Christmas, Valentine’s Day.”
Maintaining the flow of mail to and from the Island over the three strike days will be IOMPO’s priority and Post Office management is planning for the worst-case scenario to try to minimise disruption to customers and delay to their mail. With potentially more than 200 experienced members of staff out on strike, customers are advised that an Island-wide doorstep delivery of standard post will not be possible which will include Valentine’s Day cards. IOMPO will prioritise premium services (Special Delivery and Parcelforce 24), Yodel parcel deliveries and business services for commercial clients. Depending on how many people attend for work on the strike days, IOMPO will try to deliver and collect as much other mail as possible. IOMPO normally delivers approximately 500 bouquets of flowers on Valentine’s Day and delivering these will not be affected.
Mr Kneen said: “For Thursday 14th February, our priority is to deliver all of our customers’ flowers that have either been ordered locally or are being brought in from the UK. It will very much be business as usual with staff on hand to deliver them. With regards to Valentine’s cards, we would encourage customers to post these as early as possible so they can be delivered ahead of February 14.”
He continued: “I wish to thank all my staff in advance for their hard work and additional hours they have offered to work to maintain a level of service for our customers during the strike period. Every effort will be made to catch-up on any backlog of mail caused by the strike action. This recovery will be a similar experience to those days when the Island’s transport links have failed to bring in the mail due to fog bound weather etc. We will continue to keep our customers as fully up-to-date as possible regarding the latest news.”
IOMPO wishes to thank MIRS for their ongoing assistance and remains open to further talks with the union at any time to settle this dispute.
Further details of IOMPO’s contingency plans can be found on its dedicated ‘Strike action updates’ web page www.iompost.com/strike where there will also be the latest news. IOMPO kindly requests customers check here for the latest news before calling the Customer Services Team. Alternatively, customers are welcome to register for a service update by emailing the Customer Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org