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The PR Problem With The Strikes

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The PR problem with the strikes

How bad and how widespread are the strikes going to get?

Pretty bad and pretty widespread it seems, and I think that presents a problem for corporate PR.

The groups talking about striking or already doing so include train drivers, engineers, barristers, nurses, call centre workers and journalists (good luck chaps).

So it isn’t like there is one chopsy union creating trouble.

This statement on the strikes from Royal Mail tries to make out that the CWU is just being difficult.

The CWU has “finally agreed to Royal Mail’s request to meet at the most senior level”, it says, presenting itself as the reasonable adult against the irrational teenager.

The problem with this for the Royal Mail and other big companies is that their own staff and many of the rest of us are right with the union.

The unions themselves say they have never seen anything like it, that the calls to action are being led by workers, not union management.

Even staff who work from home and don’t get to meet in pubs after a shift to plot are ready to down tools.

Liz Truss is pondering new anti-union laws and says she “won’t let our country be held to ransom by militant unions”.

As a colleague reports here, if it is militancy, it is everywhere.

So while politicians and big companies try to frame it as a public vs unions battle, what it really is politicians v voters and big companies v their own staff.

The ones they always claim to value so highly.

I’m not sure they are going to like their employers or their PM dismissing their pay claims as political extremism.

Press release of the day

A practical guide to cutting fuel bills here from Bed Kingdom. Most of it is obvious – loft insulation, draft excluders.

But some is not – thermal curtains, black bedding.

The options are all priced.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) How bad are the Ukraine losses at Lloyds of London?

2) Who are likely bidders/counter bidders for Darktrace?

3) How big did the ECB go on rates? Will the Bank of England do the same?

4) Who has the cheapest/most expensive energy bills in Europe?


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