Royal Mail workers brave freezing cold for latest 48-hour strike

Royal Mail workers brave freezing cold for latest 48-hour strike

Postal workers strike in Welshpool.  Photo by Phil Blagg Photography.
Postal workers strike in Welshpool. Photo by Phil Blagg Photography.

Workers at the Welshpool Delivery Office in Powys have tried to keep warm – with thick coats and a log fire – as they stood outside the center early Wednesday morning.

It is the latest round of strikes by members of the Communication Workers Union as bosses at the CWU and Royal Mail have yet to reach agreement.

Members of the CWU are striking over their terms of employment – which could result in later start times – and are demanding a wage increase in line with inflation.

Danny Edwards, union representative for Welshpool Delivery Depot, said: “Everyone seems to think it’s just about the pay but overall it’s about the conditions and them [Royal Mail] Tear up all the agreements we worked so hard to achieve with management.

“It’s really awful to think of everything you’ve worked for in previous work being torn up.”

Mr Edwards said many people enjoy working for Royal Mail and it wasn’t the job that caused problems, it was management that changed the terms of business.

He further said that this is not a political issue, but simple people who want to afford life.

Mr Edwards said there would be a “huge impact” on staff if proposals to change tee times came into play.

He said this would result in workers starting their shift two to three hours later, which would have a significant impact on those with young children.

“It will affect a lot of members who have children who pick them up from school, which they can’t. Some say they have to find another job because they can’t reconcile it with their family,” he said.

“She [Royal Mail] just doesn’t seem to care right now, it’s just how much money they can make.”

A statement released by Royal Mail on Monday read: “After several months of discussions between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union, including ACAS relief, Royal Mail has presented a best and final offer for payment and change.

“The revised offer includes extensive improvements made during negotiations with the CWU, including an improved salary agreement of 9 percent over 18 months and a number of other concessions to terms and agreements.

“The offer is subject to the agreement of a change program with the CWU.

“We call on the CWU leadership to accept the offer of amendment and payment and to cancel future harmful strike action for the benefit of our customers and our employees.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience the ongoing CWU strike will cause. We are doing everything we can to minimize delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

Royal Mail said it will do everything it can to keep services running during the strike action, but it cannot fully replace the day-to-day efforts of its front-line staff.

It looks like the nationwide strike action will also take place on Friday 23 December and Saturday 24 December.

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