More than 100,000 postal workers have begun their Christmas strikes over pay, as the industry’s union boss said Royal Mail is risking a “Christmas meltdown”.
Walkouts by posties in the CWU union started this morning, after rejecting Royal Mail’s “final and best” pay offer of a nine per cent rise over two years.
The union has asked for a pay rise matching inflation, which is currently at 11.1 per cent.
With strikes set for 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December, the head of the CWU union Dave Ward said fired a final warning shot to Royal Mail, saying its “bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect.”
“Postal workers want to get on with serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog from recent weeks.
“But they know their value, and they will not meekly accept the casualisation of their jobs, the destruction of their conditions and the impoverishment of their families.
“This can be resolved if Royal Mail begin treating their workers with respect, and meet with the union to resolve this dispute.”
Earlier this week, the Royal Mail said it has “well-developed contingency plans” but it cannot replace its workforce.
“We’ll be doing what we can to keep services running, but we are sorry this planned strike action is likely to cause you some disruption.”
Last month Ebay UK’s boss slammed strikers for the impact it would have on small firms, while Moonpig customers have decided to buy cheaper gifts and are hesitating sending by post.
Last month, Royal Mail wrote to union bosses to intervene in “wholly unacceptable behaviours” on the picket line, with claims of more than 100 allegations of violence and assault, harassment and intimidation reported over the four months of industrial action.