Monday, October 19, 2009

Something for the CWU to think about

While dismissal of an employee during an official strike is automatically Unfair, that carries a minimum penalty of £2700 and a maximum of £66,200 (only typically reached for extremely high earners).

Sacking 30,000 workers and keeping the temps on would therefore cost between £81m (a quarter of Royal Mail's 2008-2009 profits) and £1.99bn (less than a third of the Royal Mail pension deficit, and about a fifth of its gross revenue) in fines. An award of 12 weeks' pay at £30k per annum, for 30,000 workers, would cost £207m.

A swing of 21,208 votes would have given a majority voting not to strike in the recent ballot, and mass sackings would certainly affect the willingness of people to strike.

In a recession, with 3m officially unemployed (and about the same on incapacity benefit or the like), you do not have the public's sympathy, the costs of unlawfully firing you can be met, and there are many people willing to do your jobs without union "protection". Just a thought. Not a pretty one, admittedly, but there's nothing inherently special about people who deliver letters.

- KoW

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