Royal Mail staff to strike over pay

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced that Royal Mail staff will strike after negotiations over pay have failed.

The first national pay strike in 11 years will take place on Friday 29 June. Workers in the Royal Mail and Post Office Limited will strike, which includes staff who work on counters and cash services.

Adam Crozier, Royal Mail chief executiv, said that union requests made earlier in the year would damage the Royal Mail’s competitive stance. “[Yet it is in this context that] the union wrote to us on 6 March setting out a series of demands which included an increase in basic pay from £323 to £395 and a reduction in the working week. The demands in aggregate were equivalent to a cost to the company of over £1bn and equivalent to 27% increase.”

The CWU denies the 27% pay increase request was made. David Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “The union has never asked for a 27% pay rise and we are not opposed in any shape or form to modernisation.

“What Royal Mail are doing is not modernisation. The truth is they are intent on cutting services, cutting jobs and cutting pay.”

The Royal Mail has offered a 2.5% increase in basic pensionable pay, an £800 dividend if performance targets are hit and a 50/50 share of any savings above budget at local office level. “Against the backdrop of an increasingly tough and shrinking market we simply can’t afford to pay anymore,” said Crozier.

The union has given Royal Mail a week to conclude a deal and avoid further planned strike action.