Royal Mail workers across the South West walk out in ‘biggest strike of the summer’

Royal Mail employees in Bristol have formed a picket line

Royal Mail workers across the South West have gone on strike amid a row over pay.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) is calling on the Royal Mail Group to give its staff a pay rise which matches inflation and covers the current cost of living.

Workers are striking after rejecting a pay rise of 2%, the average salary for a postal delivery worker at Royal Mail is £25,777.

Royal Mail said it has offered workers a 5.5% pay deal, 2%, paid in June and backdated to April 2022. A further 2% of salary would be available in a productivity bonus, the firm said.

The CWU said the further 1.5% was "strictly conditional on postal workers agreeing changes which would rip up their terms and conditions".

Now workers across the South West, including in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, are among the 100,000 Royal Mail employees who walked out today in the biggest strike of the summer.

In Cornwall, the strikes are expected to disrupt the delivery of packages and letters.

A picket line in Truro saw workers carrying signs that read ‘millions for the bosses, pennies for the workers'.

Workers in Truro formed a picket line Credit: BPM Media

Union member David Gill was at the Truro strike. He said: “Postal workers feel like they have no choice but to actually stand outside these offices. We’ve been put in a situation where we’re not recognised for our hard work.

At the Bristol Mail Centre in Filton, processing rep Steve Hiscox claimed that the company are taking well earned money from postal workers.

He said: “These guys have given their life for this business and there are people here, like myself, I’ve done 32 years. We’re passionate about the job and the latest plan from the CEO, Simon Thompson is to reduce a six day service to a 3 day service, effectively your address could have a delivery every other day.

“We are passionate about public service and going to every address for six days a week. These people are earning absolutely eye-watering sums of money and all they want to do is make it a race to the bottom and take even more money from the postal worker.”

The CWU’s ballot saw 97% of members vote, 77% of which voted for strike action.

Royal Mail says it is losing £1million a day in profit but the CWU and its striking members dispute this. 

Further walkouts are planned for postal services on 8 September and 9 September.