Royal Mail workers in Northern Ireland commence two days of strikes over fair pay and conditions

Striking Royal Mail staff here have begun another 48-hour strike in the latest of a series of stoppages over pay and conditions.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says its members are determined to continue their strike, despite delays caused to Christmas postal services.

Royal Mail was asked for a comment but has yet to respond.

It's the second time this month that members of the CWU have walked out leaving mountains of mail, including parcels containing Christmas gifts, piling up in Sorting Centres.

The disruption has been ongoing since August but to date, the CWU and Royal Mail have failed to reach any agreement or compromise on pay and conditions. Up to now, the workers have lost 17 days' pay as a result of the strike action.

The union says its members are facing massive pay cuts and claims management wants to force through thousands of redundancies. It is determined to get the appropriate pay rise for its members.

The union spokesman in Northern Ireland is Bobby Weatherall. He stood shoulder to should with striking workers on the picket line at Royal Mail’s main sorting centre in Mallusk.

He said: “During the week we offered Royal Mail to suspend today and tomorrow if they would sit round the table and come to an agreement. We sent them a proposal with five or six bullet points that would cover all the disputes that we are in, pay and conditions, and we gave them until 2 o’clock yesterday to respond. We finished our discussions with them on Wednesday and yesterday they came back and rejected our proposal. And that’s where we are now”

Royal Mail employs around 3000 workers in Northern Ireland – 90 per cent of them are represented by the CWU.

The walkout in Northern Ireland is part of the national action by postal workers across the UK.

With no negotiations planned over the Christmas break, the workers face an uncertain future and a massive backlog of letters and parcels to distribute.

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