Pay dispute

Royal Mail union calls four days of strikes

Royal Mail letters post box
Post will be disrupted (pic: Terry Murden)

Royal Mail workers are set to strike on four days in August and September as they join the summer of disputes over pay.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said 115,000 workers will walk out on 26 and 31 August and 8 and 9 September after rejecting an offer “worth up to 5.5%” after three months of talks.

Union bosses the action was “for a proper pay rise” and said the strikes would be the biggest this summer.

The union has demanded that Royal Mail Group increases wages to an amount that “covers the current cost of living”.

Rising prices and stagnant real wage growth has forced unions representing workers across the economy, including railways, airlines and local authorities to call for industrial action.

Inflation is at a 40-year high of 9.4% and is expected the peak at 13% early next year.

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary said: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.

“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve,” he said.

Mr Ward added people “can’t keep on living in a country where bosses rake in billions in profit while their employees are forced to use food banks”.

Royal Mail apologised to customers in advance of the industrial action but said it had plans in place to minimise the disruption.

The company also called for further talks with the union to avert the strikes, but said they “must be about both change and pay”.

Ricky McAulay, operations director at Royal Mail, said: “The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years,” he said.

“In a business that is currently losing £1m a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.”

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