More than 100,000 postal workers walked out in what has been described as the biggest strike of the summer to date.
Members of the Royal Mail Communications Workers Union (CWU) have said the 2 per cent pay rise imposed on them by management is not enough and instead they are seeking a “worthy (and ) appropriate”.
Some 97.6% of members voted in favor of the strike, which will continue on Wednesday August 31, Thursday September 8 and Friday September 9.
Who goes on strike in August and September – and for how long
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “There is no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to get the worthy and appropriate pay raise they deserve.
“We cannot continue to live in a country where bosses rake in billions in profits while their employees are forced to use food banks.”
He highlighted the company’s adjusted operating profit for the year ending March 2022 of £758m, and its decision last November to pay shareholders £400m in dividends, saying: “Our members will not accept society’s calls for poverty.
“Postal workers will not meekly accept their standard of living being hammered by greedy business leaders who are completely out of touch with modern Britain.
“They’re sick of corporate failure being rewarded over and over again.”
Royal Mail loses £1m a day, chairman says
Royal Mail rewards investors with £400m payday after COVID boost to parcels
Royal Mail said it would prioritize the delivery of COVID test kits and medical prescriptions, and deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels as possible.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We cannot cling to outdated working practices, ignore technological advancements and claim that COVID has not materially changed what the public expects of Royal Mail.
“While our competitors are working seven days a week, delivering until 10 p.m. to meet customer demand, the CWU wants to work fewer hours, six days a week, starting and finishing earlier.
“Their plans to transform Royal Mail come with a £1billion price tag, rely on a totally unrealistic letter writing renaissance and prevent Royal Mail from growing and remaining competitive in a rapidly changing industry.
“Our future is as a parcel business. We need to adapt the old ways of working designed for letters to an increasingly parcel-dominated world, and we need to act fast.
“We want to protect well-paying, permanent jobs over the long term and maintain our place as industry leader in terms of pay, terms and conditions. This is in the interest of Royal Mail and all its employees.”