115,000 postal workers to strike over pay

More than 115,000 Royal Mail postal workers are set to strike this summer over pay.

Royal Mail said that if the four-day walk out goes ahead, the organisation will be materially loss making for the financial year 2022/23.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the employees, is demanding the company gives workers an adequate pay rise given the cost-of-living crisis.

The Royal Mail staff are set to walk out on Friday 26th August, Wednesday 31st August, Thursday 8th September, and Friday 9th September.

Royal Mail described the decision by the union to launch strike action as an “abdication of responsibility for the long-term job security of its members”.

It said that the organisation had failed to engage meaningfully on the business changes required, warning that the negative commercial impact of a walkout would make pay rises less affordable and put jobs at risk.

Royal Mail originally offered a two per cent pay increase, backdated to 1 April 2022, which was rejected by the CWU.

The company said that a further 3.5 per cent increase is available, subject to agreeing on a "series of changes" and including a new 'above and beyond' bonus.

This offer, which Royal Mail said would add around £230 million to its annual people costs at a time when it is already losing money, was also rejected.

But the CWU argued that Royal Mail bosses are "raking in £758 million in profit" while shareholders are "pocketing in excess of £400 million", saying that its members won't accept "pleads of poverty" from the company.

In its latest trading update Royal Mail revealed it was losing £1 million a day.

The postal service said that the proposed pay deal adds over £500,000 a day to that figure, which could only be paid for with "meaningful business change".

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

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