Combat mail strikes with management training, says report

Better
management training is the key to preventing more industrial disputes such as
those that crippled the postal service earlier this year, claims an independent
report published at lunchtime today.

Co-author of
the report Lord Sawyer criticised Consignia’s local and regional managers for
having poor communication and leadership skills.

These were
a factor behind May’s series of wildcat walk-outs across the country following
a dispute over shift patterns in Watford.

Consignia
needs to hold a comprehensive review of management training methods in a bid to
win back union confidence, claims the report.

It also
calls on the Communication Workers Union to suspend all future strikes to allow
progress to be made.

Around
62,000 days were lost through strikes by postal workers in the last financial
year, most of them unofficial.

“Consignia
and unions need to work in partnership to rebuild trust. However, it is up to
management to provide the leadership. Managers need to be better trained and
supported and we are looking at schemes that will help them to be more
effective,” said Sawyer.

John
Roberts, chief executive of Consignia, accepted Lord Sawyers comments.

He
said, “The report confirms that the stakes are high and the challenges to the
business from regulatory actions and increasing competition are real and
far-reaching and will, unless we stop striking, cost business and jobs.”

By
Robert De La Poer

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