Royal Mail workers launch 48-hour strike as wage dispute escalates


Royal Mail union members will begin a 48-hour strike on Friday as a dispute over wages escalates.

The strike with around 115,000 members will be the biggest strike in the UK this year, according to the Communication Workers Union (CWU).

In a major escalation of the dispute, the union announced another 19-day strike for October and November.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said the escalation “matches the level of anger” union members feel toward their employer, the Royal Mail Group.

“The Royal Mail Group CEO treats postal workers like idiots,” he said. “Postal workers across the UK face a deadly battle to protect their jobs and the services they provide to every home and business in the UK.”

Royal Mail Group called the union’s announcement “reckless” and said it would worsen the company’s financial position and adversely affect job security.

“Royal Mail is losing £1m ($1.11m) a day. We operate in a competitive market and our customers have a choice. Sooner or later we will have to make these choices,” a company spokesperson said.

The company called on the CWU to “recognize the realities of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and to urgently undertake the changes necessary to adapt to customer demands in a highly competitive marketplace.”

A spokesperson said the company is doing its best to keep delays to a minimum.

strike jamming

The UK has been hit by a series of strikes in recent months, causing severe disruption to multiple sectors including railways, ports and local government.

Prime Minister Kwasi Kwarten, who unveiled the mini-budget on September 23, told the House of Commons: “It is totally unacceptable that strike action disrupts so many lives at a time so critical for our economy. ‘ said.

He said the UK would adopt “minimum service levels” to deter trade unions from shutting down transport networks during strikes.

The planned crackdown on industrial activity was part of a policy blueprint unveiled by Prime Minister Liz Truss during her campaign to become Conservative leader.

She made it clear that she would not allow unions to interfere with vital public services and would not allow the country to be “ransomed by radical union members.”

Her planned measures included introducing minimum service levels to critical national infrastructure to keep trains, buses and other services running. She also planned to raise the voting threshold to make it more difficult for strikes to be carried out in all sectors.

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan