Royal Mail resorts to freelance app Ryde in last-ditch effort to beat strikes

royal mail
royal mail

Royal Mail is using a gig economy app to recruit agency staff during postal strikes as delivery men and women stage a 48-hour walkout.

Ryde is being used by Royal Mail to hire short-term workers to mitigate disruption to letter and parcel deliveries as a fresh wave of strikes begins on Wednesday, according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

However, trade union chiefs have sought to thwart efforts to keep the business running by encouraging its 115,000 postal members to sign-up to work for Ryde and not turn up to work.

Ryde, which is used by delivery companies such as Gorillas and Evri, advertised for workers to complete rounds on behalf of Royal Mail.

“You will complete deliveries using the Ryde app and Royal Mail vehicles, earning an hourly wage. Please make sure you bring a writing pen and have watched the Royal Mail van safety video before you arrive at your shift,” the job advertisement read.

The CWU posted the advertisement to its social media account.

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A fresh 48-hour walkout by posties began on Wednesday in long-running dispute over pay and changes to working practices.

Some 115,000 members of the CWU are striking, with many heading for the picket lines in a repeat of action taken on Thursday and Friday last week. More strikes are planned in the run-up to Christmas - on 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December.

Hopes of a breakthrough to avoid industrial action before the key Christmas period have collapsed. Both sides have confirmed no talks are ongoing.

Royal Mail has accused union leaders of “holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country”.

Bosses are now warning families that presents will not turn up for Christmas.

A spokesman for the company said: “We apologise to our customers and strongly urge them to post early for Christmas.”

Royal Mail’s “best and final offer”, revealed by the Telegraph last week, was a 9pc pay rise spread over 18 months.

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said Royal Mail’s plans are a "devastating blow" to his members’ livelihoods.

"Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect," he said.