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115,000 Royal Mail workers have walked out today in ‘biggest strike of the summer’

Picket lines of striking staff and supporters have been forming across the UK this morning.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 26th August 2022

More than 115,000 Royal Mail workers have walked out today on what is the first of four days of planned industrial action this year.

The country’s postal service form what is being described as the “biggest strike of the summer”.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said that the 2% pay rise given to postal workers by management was not good enough, and after a recent ballot for strike action saw members vote by 97.6% on a 77% turnout to take action, over 115,000 Royal Mail are now demanding a “dignified, proper pay rise”.

Strike action will continue on Wednesday 31 August, and Thursday 8 and Friday 9 September.

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“Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink,” said Dave Ward – General Secretary at the CWU.

Read more: Royal Mail bosses vote ‘overwhelmingly’ to strike over job cuts and working conditions

“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve [as] 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.

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“When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758m in profit and shareholders pocketing £400m, our members won’t accept pleads of poverty from the company. Postal workers won’t meekly accept their living standards being hammered by greedy business leaders who are completely out of touch with modern Britain.

“They are sick of corporate failure getting rewarded again and again.

“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay.”

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Picket lines have been forming across the UK this morning / Credit: The CWU (via Twitter)

During the planned days of strike action, including today, Royal Mail said that it would prioritise the delivery of COVID test kits and medical prescriptions.

It will also focus on delivering as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels as possible.

“We cannot cling to outdated working practices, ignoring technological advancements and pretending that COVID has not significantly changed what the public wants from Royal Mail,” a spokesperson for Royal Mail said.

“While our competitors work seven days a week, delivering until 10pm to meet customer demand, the CWU want to work fewer hours, six days a week, starting and finishing earlier.

“Their plans to transform Royal Mail come with a £1bn price tag, are predicated on a wholly unrealistic revival in letter writing and prevent Royal Mail from growing, and remaining competitive, in a fast-moving industry.

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Read more: Royal Mail strike dates announced with four days of industrial action planned

“Our future is as a parcels business and we must adapt old ways of working designed for letters to a world increasingly dominated by parcels, and we must act fast.

“We want to protect well-paid, permanent jobs long-term and retain our place as the industry leader on pay, terms and conditions.

“That is in the best interests of Royal Mail and all its employees.”

Featured Image – Royal Mail