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Royal Mail strike: More than 100,000 postal workers form picket lines as they walk out over pay today

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are walking out on four dates in August and September after more than 97 per cent voted in favour of the strike

Picket lines are forming around the UK as more than 100,000 postal workers go on strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are walking out on four dates in August and September after more than 97 per cent voted in favour of the strike on a 77 per cent turnout.

Royal Mail has said the CWU union had rejected a pay rise offer “worth up to 5.5 per cent” after three months of talks.

But the union explained that the pay rise was conditional on signing new terms and conditions.

“They’ve imposed a 2 per cent pay award without agreement,” the CWU’s Scottish regional secretary Craig Anderson told BBC Good Morning Scotland.

“They offered another 1.5 per cent based on signing away terms and conditions, and a further £500 as a bonus for having targets that they knew weren’t achievable. So there was never a 5.5 per cent pay offer put on the table.”

CWU is demanding a rise more in line with inflation, which is currently at 9.4 per cent and is expected to reach 13 per cent later this year.

Workers are gathering outside workplaces around the country, including the Royal Mail Whitechapel Delivery Office.

One man is shouting “enough is enough, millions for the bosses, pennies for the workers” and “support your postal worker”.

They are banging drums, waving flags and placards and some cars are beeping their horns in apparent support as they drive past.

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said: “There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.

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

He added: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.

He added: “The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay,” he said.

Ricky McAulay, operations director at Royal Mail, accused the union of failing to engage in “any meaningful discussion” after months of talks.

“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5 per cent 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.”

Royal Mail says it has ” well-developed contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce”. This means that major disruption to postal services is inevitable on strike dates.

The most significant effect is that Royal Mail will not be delivering any letters on these days, except for those sent by Special Delivery.

Special Delivery parcels will also be prioritised, although Royal Mail adds: “However, we cannot guarantee delivery of all items by 9am or 1pm next day.

“We will therefore suspend the next day guarantee for items sent the day before, during strike action and until our services are back to normal.

“Customers will not be able to claim compensation for items which are delayed during this period.”

Royal Mail has also promised to “prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible” when strikes are taking place, alongside other Tracked24 parcels.

Any items posted in postboxes or Post Offices the day before, during or following strike dates are likely to be subject to delays.

The majority of Post Offices are expected to be open on the dates walkouts are talking place, although a small number will be affected by the CWU action.

When are the strikes?


The CWU postal strikes are on the following dates:

– Friday 26 August
– Wednesday 31 August
– Thursday 8 September
– Friday 9 September

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