Royal Mail workers launch strike with 19 more planned in coming months

Workers are involved in a long-running dispute with Royal Mail over plans to change working conditions (Picture: Gustavo Pantano/Spotlight Images/Shutterstock)

Postal workers have gone out on strike again today – and more walkouts are planned in the run up to Christmas.

The union representing 115,000 Royal Mail workers said it was the largest to be held in the UK this year.

Pickets lines have been mounted for the sixth time in recent months and no breakthrough in talks is seemingly within sight.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced a further 19 days of strike action to take place in the coming months.

Unless a deal is reached, there will be regular strikes until early December, including around Black Friday, one of the busiest days for online shopping.

It has accused Royal Mail’s management of planning to delay the arrival of post to members of the public by three hours, cuts workers’ sick pay and roll out inferior terms for new employees.

The union said it would turn jobs in the industry into a ‘casualised, financially precarious workforce overnight’.

Workers have mounted pickets outside Royal Mail offices and will continue until December unless a deal is reached (Picture: CWU/Twitter)

Bosses at the Royal Mail, which was privatised in 2013 after more than 500 years of public ownership, say it is losing £1 million a day and needs to reform.

General secretary Dave Ward said: ‘Postal workers face the biggest ever assault on their jobs, terms and conditions in the history of Royal Mail.

‘The public and businesses also face the end of daily deliveries and destruction of the special relationship that postal workers and the public have in every community in the UK.

‘It is insulting the intelligence of every postal worker for Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson to claim that their change agenda is “modernisation”.

‘It is nothing more than an asset-stripping business plan that will see the break-up of the company and the end of Royal Mail as a major contributor to the UK economy.

‘Royal Mail Group claim to be losing £1 million a day. The CWU believe these figures need to be scrutinised.’

The Royal Mail says it needs to reform in order to stop massive financial losses (Picture: PA)

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: ‘Three weeks ago, Royal Mail invited the CWU to enter talks through Acas to find a resolution to our change and pay dispute. We have not reached an agreement with the CWU on this request.

‘Royal Mail is losing £1 million a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands.

‘The CWU leadership’s choice of damaging strike action over resolution is weakening the financial position of the company and threatening the job security of our postmen and women.

‘We call on the CWU leaders to cancel their planned strike action and accept our invitation to enter talks through Acas without further delay.

‘We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause.

‘We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.’

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