Royal Mail to strike in August and September as pay negotiations crumble

Royal Mail workers are set to strike on 26 August, 31 August, 8 September and 9 September in a protest against employee salaries after pay negotiations between executives and postal workers crumbled.

Approximately 115,000 Royal Mail staff will be walking as part of a massive wave of industrial action organised by the Communication Workers Union (CWU), marking the largest strike of the summer so far.

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“After more than three months of talks, the CWU have failed to engage in any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to modernise, or to come up with alternative ideas,” said Royal Mail operations director Ricky McAulay.

“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years.”

The pay rise is supposedly made up of a 2% pay rise backdated to 1 April 2022, and an additional 3.5% increase linked to a selection of terms and conditions, alongside an “above and beyond” bonus.

The CWU said Royal Mail failed to offer a 5.5% pay rise, and instead approved a 2% increase without staff agreement.

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The Union further claimed Royal Mail had offered an additional 1.5% pay rise “based on signed away our terms and conditions.”

Inflation has soared in recent months to a 40-year high of 9.4%, and is currently on track to reach 13% in October this year.

The spiking cost of living has seen many sectors struck by a real terms pay cut, leaving workers struggling to cope with soaring prices and fighting to scrape together savings as a difficult winter looms on the horizon.

Royal Mail “Materially loss-making” in FY 2022-2023

The Royal Mail argued a real terms pay rise is out of its budget due to heavy company losses of £1 million per day.

Royal Mail issued a statement today confirming that if the strike went ahead, the group would be “materially loss making” in FY 2022-2023.

“In a business that is currently losing £1 million pounds a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it,” said Royal Mail.

“The CWU rejected [our] offer, worth up to 5.5%, which would add around £230 million to Royal Mail annual people costs at a time when the business is already loss making – in the Q1 trading update published on 20 July, Royal Mail announced it was losing a million pounds a day and the proposed pay deal adds more than half a million pounds a day to that figure.”

“This can only be paid for with meaningful business change. The CWU has balloted its members on pay, which returned a majority in favour of industrial action.”

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