Workers started a 48 strike this morning with four more days of action planned throughout December after today.
Postal workers are warning of a “Christmas meltdown” in letters and deliveries as Royal Mail’s management refuse to enter negotiations that would avert strikes.
Local members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) – which represents postal workers – are sounding the alarm over the huge numbers of parcels and deliveries stacking up in every Royal Mail Group workplace across the country.
Throughout this year, 115,000 postal workers have been taking industrial action against senior management’s attempts to enforce massive real-terms pay cuts, force through thousands of compulsory redundancies and enact changes that would see Royal Mail turned into a Uber-style gig economy parcel courier.
Small businesses and companies reliant on mail have already expressed grave concerns about the lack of negotiations, with a recent letter to The Times signed by leading business figures rom eBay, the British Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses reminding readers that Royal Mail’s “army of postal workers” are integral to the “real economy”, and calling for a resolution to the dispute.
However, Royal Mail’s senior leadership have ignored attempts to address the anger their workforce feel, with City AM reporting that Royal Mail CEO Simon Thompson not turning up to the final stage of negotiation talks with workplace representatives.
Despite this, the union have written to Thompson at the weekend, calling for fresh negotiations.
CWU members are striking yesterday and today Thursday (1st December) this week.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect.
“Postal workers want to get on with serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog from recent weeks.
“But they know their value, and they will not meekly accept the casualisation of their jobs, the destruction of their conditions and the impoverishment of their families.
“This can be resolved if Royal Mail begin treating their workers with respect, and meet with the union to resolve this dispute.”
A further wave of strikes is planned for 14, 15, 23 and 24 December – some of the busiest days for pre-Christmas deliveries.