The biggest strike of the year continues today as 115,000 postal workers will come out for a “dignified, proper pay rise”.
Members of the Communication Workers Union – which represents Royal Mail Group workers – have kicked off the first day of their 19 day strike.
The decision follows the union’s ballot for strike action over pay, which saw members vote by 97.6 per cent on a 77 per cent turnout to take action.
The union is demanding that Royal Mail make an adequate pay award that covers the current cost of living increases for our members.
Management imposed a two per cent pay rise on employees, who were classified as key workers throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, through executive action earlier this summer.
In an economic climate where inflation looks set to soar to 18 per cent by January 2023, the CWU state that the imposition would lead to a dramatic reduction in workers’ living standards.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.
“When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758 million in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400 million, our members won’t accept pleads of poverty from the company.
“Postal workers won’t meekly accept their living standards being hammered like this any longer, and the leadership of Royal Mail must recognise this sooner rather than later.”
The CWU has also accused the delivery giant of eyeing up structural change, which could turn staff into “gig economy workers”, this includes cutting workers’ sick pay and inferior terms for new employees.
The planned 19 days of industrial action will hit Black Friday week and Cyber Monday, as well as 13, 20, and 25 October, and 28 November.
Letter will not be delivered during this period and some parcels will be delayed, the Royal Mail has said.
Royal Mail said it would try its best to keep the disruption to a minimum, prioritising the delivery of Covid-19 test kits and medical prescriptions.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said in a statement last night: “Three weeks ago, Royal Mail invited the CWU to enter talks through Acas to find a resolution to our change and pay dispute. We have not reached an agreement with the CWU on this request.
“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands.”