Postal services face summer mayhem as strikes loom
The postal service braces itself for a summer of disruption as Royal Mail goes to the ballots tomorrow morning and the union representing Post Office staff confirmed its July strike action this afternoon.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is set to dish out letters to Royal Mail union members tomorrow over potential strike action focused on pay, and the disparity between executive and employee salaries. The result of this ballot for the universal postal service will be known on 19 July.
The move comes after the CWU confirmed that action will take place for the mail service provider, closing down 114 Crown Post Office branches on 11 July.
Post Office employees, who have faced a pay freeze for the last year, voted overwhelmingly to take action by 97.3 per cent back in May.
Again, the crux of the strikers’ dispute is that pay should be in line with inflation, which hit 11.7 per cent last month, as well as the firm’s swelling profits of £35m during the pandemic (2020/21).
The union rejected a management pay offer of three per cent, as well as a £500 lump sum fee, arguing that it was “woefully inadequate”.
CWU Assistant Secretary Andy Furey said: “No worker wants to be in this situation, but Post Office bosses can’t be surprised that callous decisions are challenged by our members.
He said that staff felt “betrayed” by the current offers, and added:“There is more than enough money for a reasonable pay rise – implementing this pay cut is a management choice, not a necessity.
It is understood there is no turning back from the strikes unless the firm offered a substantive pay deal; the union haven’t specified exact figures, but said the main focus was on shielding members from the cost of living crisis.
A Post Office spokesperson told City A.M.: “We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by the CWU decision to strike on Monday 11 July and will be open throughout the day”.
The Post Office added they were “disappointed” by the decision and hoped to reach a pay agreement soon.
Around 3,500 members are involved in the dispute with the company.
This is the third national strike by Post Office workers in 2022, and sits against a tide of industrial action across sectors.