Royal Mail workers to stage 19 further strikes over next two months

A photo taken at a Communication Workers Union (CWU) picket line in August. Credit: PA.

Royal Mail workers are to stage a further 19 strikes throughout the next two months in a deteriorating dispute over pay and conditions.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced that the action, in October and November, will be a mixture of single days and rolling action across Royal Mail Group’s network.

The union said it will have a “dramatic impact” and will cover peak mail periods such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Christmas build-up.

It added the move follows a threat centred around the “outrageous” decision by Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements, push ahead with cuts to workers’ terms and conditions and “completely sideline” the union.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.

“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid.

“These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.

“Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.

“We call on everyone to stand with their local postal worker."

Communication Workers Union (CWU) General Secretary Dave Ward. Credit: PA

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “On September 22, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.

“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.

“Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. We operate in a competitive market, and our customers have choices.

“Further strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.

“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

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Earlier, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer called for “vital services like Royal Mail” to be put back into public hands.

He made the comments during his speech at the Labour Party conference, being staged this week in Liverpool.

Mr Ward said it was "refreshing" to hear Sir Keir "echo the CWU’s own suggestion that Britain needs a new deal for workers".

“Like any other worker, members of our union want a society where there’s more money in their pockets, they’ve got high-quality jobs and every community feels secure," he said.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss has adopted a different stance to striking workers, and has previously pledged to legislate for minimum service levels within 30 days of becoming prime minister.

During her visit to New York last week for the United Nations summit, she reiterated her stance, telling reporters she is committed to bringing in the change “as soon as possible”.