First of Royal Mail strike series begins

Image above: a Royal Mail van

24 hour strike to last all day Thursday and disrupt Friday

The first of 19 Royal Mail strikes have begun, with workers taking action in a long-running dispute over pay and conditions.

Strike action has been called for 24 hours from 4.00am on various days starting on Thursday 13 October. The strike action planned by workers is for 13, 20, and 25 October, and 28 November.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the action by its members will have a “dramatic impact” on peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the lead-up to Christmas.

Different teams and combinations of teams will strike on other dates, but that will have a knock-on effect on all deliveries on those dates, the CWU spokesman said.

Royal Mail Group said further strikes would make its financial position worse and threaten workers’ job security.

Image above: Chiswick Royal Mail workers on Strike in September; photograph by CWU

Further strike dates

Processing, distribution, international, collections and admin workers: Thursday 3, Wednesday 9, Tuesday 15, and Thursday 24 November; and Thursday 1 December

Delivery workers: Friday 4, Thursday 10, Wednesday 16, and Friday 25 November; and Friday 2 December

Network workers: Wednesday 2, Tuesday 8, Monday 14, Wednesday 23 and Wednesday 30 November

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said the significant amount of strikes “matches the level of anger our members feel” at their treatment. He added:

“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.”

“Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.”

Calling on “everyone to stand with their local postal worker,” Mr Ward said: “We will not stand by and see the Royal Mail Group become the next P&O but we need your backing to win.”

Image above: Chiswick enquiry office closed on a strike day

Strikes will exacerbate Royal Mail’s apparent financial woes, says spokesperson

A Royal Mail spokesperson said on 22 September it invited CWU to enter into talks through ACAS, the arbitration service, to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay. The spokesperson added:

“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of ACAS talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.

“Royal Mail is losing £1m a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices.

“Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.

“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

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