Royal Mail bosses have been forced to apologise for a ‘nasty’ April Fool’s Day prank where striking staff were told they would get a huge pay rise.
The letter claimed Royal Mail and the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) had ‘reached an agreement’ after a bitter row over pay and working conditions.
It said a breakthrough pay rise of 11 per cent, backdated to April 2022, would be given out on Tuesday to all staff.
But the letter, which went on display at the Royal Mail Gloucester North base, has outraged the CWU and left postal workers furious.
One worker raged: ‘It isn’t a f***ing joke, it’s people’s livelihoods. that manager should be f***ing sacked. I don’t think it’s a laughing matter. DO YOU?’
The letter claims Royal Mail and the Communication Worker’s Union (CWU) have ‘reached an agreement’ after months of strikes over pay and details a breakthrough pay rise of 11 per cent
Royal Mail bosses have been forced to apologise after a manager announced a huge pay rise for ‘stressed-out’ striking staff. Pictured: Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rallying over jobs, pay and conditions in Parliament Square, London, in December 9 2022
CWU branded the prank as ‘nasty’ and ‘tone deaf’, with the letter coming just days after reports the union was preparing to announce new strike dates after being unable to reach a deal with Royal Mail.
And another joke included in the note claimed there would be a ‘recruitment campaign’ to hire 10,000 ‘telegram boys’, which would be launched today – despite news 10,000 jobs are expected to be cut at the postal giants by August.
Fellow Royal Mail workers on social media flocked to brand the manager who wrote it a ‘horrible human being’ who ‘should be ashamed’ and some even called for him to be sacked.
They claimed the joke was ‘unprofessional’ as their pay situation is ‘not a laughing matter’ and is putting the staff ‘under stress’.
But some staff claimed those who thought it was true in the first place should ‘give their heads a wobble’ as it’s ‘unbelievable’ and ‘just banter’.
Royal Mail have since apologised for ‘any upset caused’ by the ‘misjudged’ joke and confirmed the poster has been ‘removed’ and the manager has apologised.
The post said: ‘This was meant to be a joke at Gloucester North for April Fools’ Day the boss in question has apologised.’
But the apology failed to impress furious postal workers, who took to social media to vent their anger.
People online were left divided by the April Fool’s Day prank, with some saying that the manager ‘should be ashamed’ for posting it, while other said that the poster is ‘pretty funny’
One person wrote: ‘We ain’t that lucky and there’s only one fool and that’s the manager for even thinking he’s being funny. Should be ashamed of himself.
A second added: ‘Very unprofessional given the amount of stress the situation is putting people under.’
While a third said: ‘I ain’t laughing. They should be conducted. Horrible human being.’
What was written in the April Fool’s joke?
Royal Mail and WU reach agreement – Saturday 1st April 2023
We are pleased to announce that agreement has been reached. Please take note of the following points:
– 11 per cent pay rise, backdated to April 2022, to be paid on 07/04/23.
– UK Government to pay £500 million per year to subsidise USO but no increase to the price of stamps or tax rises to pay for it.
– Reversal of all recent revisions and reintroduction of shorter deliveries.
– Reintroduction of job and finish.
– Removal of ‘Scan In Scan Out’.
– Brand new fleet of diesel vans and bicycles to replace electric vans
– Staff now allowed to use private cars on delivery
– No limit on ghosting overtime
– Reintroduction of EPOD cards and removal of PDA devices
– Recruitment campaign launches on 03/04/23 to employ 10,000 new telegram boys.
Another agreed: ‘No managers should be making jokes at our expense with what they have been part of, April Fool’s Day or not,’ as one more person said: ‘Jesus Christ. I mean that’s mildly funny but read the room man.’
But other people were left confused as to why some staff members were left so angry, as one person said: ‘I see stuff like this almost every day. It’s a joke ffs, or in our office it would be just banter.’
Another agreed: ‘If you took this seriously in the first place you need to give your head wobble ffs.’
A third added: ‘It’s pretty funny and obviously completely unbelievable.’
Speaking out about the incident, a Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘We apologise for any upset caused by this misjudged April Fool’s joke at one of our delivery offices. The poster was removed and the local manager has apologised.’
Meanwhile a Communication Workers Union spokesperson added: ‘For many Royal Mail employees, the workplace is now a completely toxic environment where nasty, tone-deaf ‘jokes’ such as these are considered culturally acceptable.’
Royal Mail has been crippled by 18 days of strikes over the last year – which including walkouts during the Christmas period.
The postal service losing more than £1million a day, bosses have warned further strikes could see it put into administration.
Although there is yet to be official confirmation of any strike by Royal Mail, it appears increasingly likely that members of the CWU will take further industrial action.
Bosses are thought to have threatened to put the postal service into administration as talks with union chiefs become more fraught.
The explosive idea is regarded as a last resort but has been raised with the Communication Workers Union, the Guardian reports.
The explosive idea is regarded as a last resort but has been raised with the Communication Workers Union
If the government approve to put the service into administration, the Royal Mail could be declared insolvent.
This comes just weeks after members of the union overwhelmingly voted to continue industrial action – with 96 per cent in favour of more strikes unless the deadline is broken.
Over 100,000 postal workers are involved in the dispute over pay, which has been running for almost a year.
Royal Mail claims the strikes have cost them £200 million in lost business and covering staff.
And it is losing £1 million a day – with a total loss of as much as £450 million for the last financial year.
A spokesman for Royal Mail said: ‘Throughout the dispute we have highlighted the need for Royal Mail to transform, and been very clear about the damaging impact of strike action.
‘Our latest trading update shows that we lost £295 million in the first nine months of the last financial year, and around two thirds of the losses were due to strike action.
‘We also said that we expected an adjusted operating loss around the mid-point of £350 million to £450 million for the year. Further strike action would continue to cause losses.
‘That is why we are doing all we can to get agreement with the CWU, including making numerous improvements to our offer throughout the negotiations with the CWU, supported by Acas and Sir Brendan Barber.’