Pathway to Change: Parcelforce Worldwide

Postal, Parcelforce

Pictured above: Davie Robertson
Tuesday 12th January 2021

Special Facebook Live session at 7pm today with Davie Robertson, CWU assistant secretary.

Changing the minds of the company over separation represents a “big win” for Parcelforce Worldwide (PFW) and for Royal Mail Group (RMG) as a whole, says CWU assistant secretary Davie Robertson. 

“There is no doubt now that the plan developed by the previous managerial regime would have left our members in Parcelforce facing huge uncertainty and open to attack,” he points out, adding: “We now have the opportunity to grow our business as a fully integral part of RMG.”      

This evening, Davie will be speaking about the new Pathway to Change national agreement via Facebook Live and in a special session for Parcelforce members, he’ll be setting out the reasons why the union is recommending a big Yes vote in the forthcoming ballot.

“It doesn’t need repeating that the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to be an extremely difficult time for the whole country,” he tells, “but it does need repeating that members in Parcelforce – alongside all our members and other key workers – have stepped up to the challenge and have been magnificent throughout.

“Our members’ unity, strong support for their union and their dedication to serving the public are the reasons that we have been successful in securing the future of Parcelforce and why we now have a worthy agreement that will provide a strong basis for a positive future.”

Keeping wholly within Royal Mail Group means that all of the job security commitments – MTSF procedures and the avoidance of compulsory redundancies – will continue to protect Parcelforce workers, while the renewed pledges to a shorter working week (SWW) and the fair pay settlement provide fair reward for the hard work and extraordinary efforts of all.

“To our members I say that this is a recognition of your commitment, your endurance and your determination during an extreme period – the operation has been at peak volume since the summer and with a third lockdown, there’s no sign of this abating at this time,” Davie continues.

As has been the case across Royal Mail Group, retail closures have driven unprecedented increases in home shopping and deliveries to residential customers. However, the closure of these businesses has also adversely affected the multi-item B2B (business to business) traffic, which is the ‘sweet spot’ for Parcelforce.    

Davie says: “The B2B traffic is by far the most profitable to PFW and so even with the huge rise in B2C (business to customer) revenues, the Covid effects in Parcelforce are more mixed than in Royal Mail.

“Equally, during this crisis the safety of our members is the absolute priority and social distancing and Covid arrangements – which we fully support as vital health and safety measures – mean that delivering the increased volume drives additional costs for the business.   

“Notwithstanding this though, the increased revenue through the Covid period has significantly improved the financial position of the business,” he continues. “So there is work to do, but we have an opportunity to build from a more stable base while rewarding our members for their huge and ongoing contribution.

“While we fully respect the democratic process, it is key that we prepare so that we can fully deliver all aspects of the deal, including the SWW benefit. And, over the coming period, the union will be working with Parcelforce management on a range of issues building on the commitments in the Four Pillars agreement – addressing the working day, technology developments, the market demand for seven-day operating, efficiency and productivity – to ensure that Parcelforce can prosper as a premium service provider.

“We’ll be focussing on improving existing tools such as Route Excellence (REX) and also taking a more developed approach towards the indoor aspect of the working day,” our assistant secretary explains.

“At national level, we’re also talking about reviewing the network – with the aim of capturing more of the market and taking advantage of the synergies across RMG now that PFW is most certainly back in the fold.

“So,” Davie concludes, “while there are challenges ahead, it’s our view, as a union, that the Pathway to Change agreement gives us the best opportunity for many years to drive this company forward in the best interests of all – our members, our customers, and the business as a whole.

“I hope Parcelforce members will take the time to join me this evening – and I hope that together, we can deliver the biggest possible Yes vote for this excellent agreement.”

Facebook live session can be viewed here at 7pm this evening. Please find more info on our Q&A sessions below:

Monday 11th January – 6pm to 7pm (view here)

Dave Ward and Terry Pullinger go through the overarching sections of the agreement including direction of the company, pay, shorter working week, growth and culture.

Tuesday 12th January – 7pm to 8pm

Davie Robertson takes your questions on Parceforce, processing, distribution and logistics. 

Wednesday 13th January – 6pm to 7pm

Mark Baulch takes your questions on deliveries.