Royal Mail News Update: Royal Mail Workers Strike in November

Royal Mail Strikes CWU

Royal Mail news update: Following the privatisation news, Royal Mail staff have voted to strike for 24 hours in November due to working conditions and pay.

The staff at the Royal Mail have made the collective decision to go on strike on the 4th November for a total of 24 hours as a protest over the currently incomplete talks regarding their pay and working conditions. The run up to Christmas is of course the Royal Mail’s busiest time of the year but when the company was floated on the stock market for the first time last week, strike action was anticipated.

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) are the team leading this action as they strive to help their members achieve the best possible standard of work. CWU sent out more than 115000 ballot papers to the staff at the Royal Mail in order to establish the scale of discontent as well as the expected turnout for the strike. The response they got was overwhelming; 63% responded with 78% of those saying they would strike in order to establish a fairer pay scale and working conditions.

Royal Mail News Update

There are rumours of further action being taken when they broach the subject of handling competitors’ post which the Royal Mail handle and distribute respectively.

It is common knowledge that the CWU were strongly opposed to the privatisation of the company as they believed that this move would leave the workers in poorer working conditions and it may well be that this has transpired as it was expected. Royal Mail offered the CWU an 8.6% pay increase over a period of three years and sent their rebuttal with a criticism of the pension changes that have been proposed.

Generally speaking the concern seems to be over the uncertainty that comes with companies changing hands or becoming private. Dave Ward, the CWU deputy general secretary, stated that the aim was to establish a secure understanding of the basic principles and strategies that will make up the new, privatised, Royal Mail as well as of course the legal elements that will ensure the workers’ job, pay and pension security.

Contrary to these figures and the overall sense that the workers are unhappy as a collective, it must be noted that of all the staff at the Royal Mail who are CWU members, while 63% voted for action, 51% remained neutral or voted against the strike. This of course does not include the 24000 who are not union members and therefore did not receive the option of a vote.

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