Royal Mail postal workers begin strike action

Royal Mail CWU workers on the picket in Dorchester

Tens of thousands of Royal Mail Communications Workers Union (CWU) members have gone on strike today. This has led to disruption of post and parcel deliveries across the UK.

While (Unite the Union member) managers crossed the picket lines in some cases, the 24 hour strike at Royal Mail has been very effective with many agency workers refusing to work, and few actually crossing the pickets. Large numbers of postal workers who weren’t in a union refused to work as well, and in Weymouth Delivery Office just two non-managers went to work.

“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. When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758m in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400m, our members won’t accept pleas of poverty from the company,” CWU general secretary Dave Ward said.

Those who are working will prioritise Special Delivery, some parcels and medical prescriptions. Even so, services are set to be severely impacted in what is the first national Royal Mail strike action in some 20 years. Mr Ward added: “There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.”

Royal Mail management has hit back at the industrial action, saying in a statement, “The CWU’s vision for Royal Mail would create a vicious spiral of falling volumes, higher prices, bigger losses, and fewer jobs.”

Though it is true that the parcels market is extremely competitive and mail volumes are falling, the issue at hand is that Royal Mail workers wish to be able to work for a living on their incomes, and with inflation the highest it has been in almost 40 years, they require pay rises to match.