115,000 Royal Mail workers strike over pay

Royal Mail appeal over status of agency workers dismissed by Employment Appeals TribunalAround 115,000 Royal Mail workers have begun their first day of scheduled strike action today in a dispute over pay.

The action has been organised by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), with 97.6% of members voting in favour in a ballot over Royal Mail’s proposed pay increase. The union previously rejected a pay increase offer worth up to 5.5% after three months of negotiations, as it is demanding a rise in line with inflation, which is currently at 9.4% and is expected to reach 13% later this year.

Additional planned strikes are set to take place on Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September.

A spokesperson at Royal Mail said: “We will be doing what we can to keep services running, but customers should expect significant disruption. We are losing £1 million a day, and we need to change what we are doing to fix the situation and protect jobs. This is the biggest increase we have offered for many years and the CWU has rejected it. This would add around £230 million to Royal Mail’s annual people costs when the business is already loss-making.”

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, added: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink. There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.”