Royal Mail staff are set to strike for six days in December, including Christmas Eve – usually one of the busiest days of the year for post.
The long-running dispute relates to pay, jobs and working conditions, with the CWU saying ‘the livelihoods of postal workers’ were at stake.
The newly-announced strike dates follow similar walkouts by union members earlier this year in August and September, with staff now due to walk out on 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December.
These dates are in addition to strikes that had already been announced for 25, 25 and 30 November and 1 December.
A spokesperson for the CWU said in a statement: “The CWU want a negotiated settlement with Royal Mail Group and will continue to engage the company to that end.
“But those in charge of Royal Mail need to wake up and realise we won’t allow them to destroy the livelihoods of postal workers.”
When the union announced the initial November and December strike dates, it explained how its Royal Mail members had had ‘an unagreed 2 per cent pay deal imposed on them’.
“This is at a time when RPI inflation is currently running at 11.8 per cent and when Royal Mail has announced Group profits of £758 million and when the company is paying out many millions to private shareholders,” the CWU said, arguing that the pay dispute is ‘not complicated’, as union members are simply ‘striking for a pay rise that fully addresses the current cost of living’.
In a national strike ballot over pay, the CWU’s Royal Mail workers voted by a 97.6 percent majority to take action.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said the required change was not an option.
“Our preference is for an agreement with the CWU but the change we need is not optional,” they said.
“They should be focused on a resolution to this dispute for their members and the long-term health of the business, rather than damaging strike action.”
In a message to customers on its website, the Royal Mail explained that it had 'well-developed contingency plans', but warned it 'cannot fully replace the daily efforts' of its frontline 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," it added.Featured Image Credit: DBURKE/Kumar Sriskandan/Alamy Stock Photo
Topics: UK News