UK postal employees launch Black Friday strike as industrial motion sweeps the nation

LONDON – CWU union strikers take part in picket line at Peckham Royal Mail Heart on November 24, 2022 in London, England. The strikes deliberate for the Black Friday weekend and the run-up to Christmas will go forward after talks between Royal Mail and the Communication Employees Union ended with no deal.

Man Smallman/Getty Photographs

LONDON – 1000’s of postal employees within the UK are on two-day strike, disrupting Black Friday after talks between royal mail and the communication employees union went bankrupt.

The leaders of the union, which represents some 115,000 hanging postal employees, re-entered negotiations with Royal Mail executives early final month, with talks now occurring for seven months.

Nonetheless, Royal Mail Group lately rebranded Worldwide distribution providers on the London Inventory Trade – mentioned in a press release on Wednesday that it had submitted its “greatest and final provide” and accused the union of “holding Christmas as ransom”.

The CWU has introduced one other 10 days of strike main as much as Christmas Eve, 4 of which have been formally notified, with the final one falling on December 12. 1.

In October, Royal Mail revealed plans to chop as much as 10,000 jobs by subsequent summer time and posted a half-yearly adjusted working lack of £219 million ($265.3 million), and CEO Simon Thompson mentioned the The strikes had already added £100m to firm losses to date this 12 months. IDS shares are down greater than 58% year-to-date.

“In a materially loss-making firm, with every extra day of strikes we’re confronted with the tough alternative of whether or not to spend our cash on pay and defend jobs, or on the price of strikes,” Thompson mentioned Wednesday .

“The CWU’s deliberate strike motion is holding Christmas as a ransom for our clients, companies and households throughout the nation and is placing the roles of its personal members in danger.”

The union mentioned on Wednesday it had met with Royal Mail executives however mentioned Thompson didn’t attend. In a press release, the CWU warned of the “finish of Royal Mail as we all know it”.

Royal Mail says its newest provide features a pay rise of as much as 9% over 18 months, a brand new profit-sharing scheme for workers, a freeze on necessary redundancies till the top of March 2023 and improved redundancy packages volunteers.

Nonetheless, the union accused the corporate’s executives of “turning Royal Mail Group right into a gig-economy-style parcel courier depending on informal work” by imposing obligatory redundancies on postal employees whereas maintaining the company’s employees with decrease pay and providing a “utterly insufficient, non-retroactive 3.5% pay enhance.”

He additionally mentioned the deal on the desk included cuts to sick pay, the elimination of a Sunday premium cost, later begin and finish occasions and “the introduction of know-how that may monitor postal employees each minute of the day.”

BIRMINGHAM, UK – NOVEMBER 24, 2022: Postal employees on the picket line on the Central Supply Workplace and Mail Heart in Birmingham. Members of the Communication Employees Union (CWU) are holding a 48-hour strike in a longstanding dispute over jobs, pay and situations.

Photographs by Jacob King/PA through Getty Photographs

“We is not going to settle for that 115,000 Royal Mail employees – the individuals who have stored us related through the pandemic and who’ve made tens of millions in earnings for bosses and shareholders – undergo such a devastating blow to their livelihoods,” the secretary-general mentioned. of CWU Dave Ward.

“These proposals mark the top of Royal Mail as we all know it and its degradation from a nationwide establishment to an unreliable, Uber-style gig financial system firm.”

Postal employees voted overwhelmingly in August for strike motion to protest pay and situations, after Royal Mail initially levied a 2% pay rise on employees as inflation within the UK United was heading into double digits. UK inflation hit 11.1% in October.

The union is looking for an improved 18-month wage settlement, a assure of no obligatory redundancies and an “different enterprise technique which might see Royal Mail Group use its aggressive benefit to develop as a enterprise, as a substitute of changing into a parcel employer of the gig financial system.”

Strikes in all sectors

Employees in the private and non-private sector are occurring strike within the UK over pay, working situations and pensions, with inflation at its highest degree for greater than 40 years and the Unbiased Workplace of Budgetary Accountability (OBR) final week predicts the steepest drop in dwelling requirements since data started.

The Workplace for Nationwide Statistics (ONS) estimated that a median of 19,500 working days per thirty days have been misplaced to industrial motion in 2019, however this quantity has risen because the Covid-19 pandemic and reached 87,600 in July 2022.

Rail strikes have just about shut down the nation’s rail providers for a number of days all year long and the RMT union, whose members work for Community Rail and 14 different rail operators, lately voted in 4 extra 48-hour rail strikes in operating as much as Christmas.

The Royal School of Nursing lately introduced that its members will manage walkouts later this 12 months for the primary time in its 106-year historical past.

The British Medical Affiliation will maintain a vote in January for younger medical doctors in England on a pay deal that will provide them a 2% elevate this 12 months, whereas 18,000 ambulance employees represented by the sizeable GMB and Unite unions are presently voting to go on strike.

Bank of England chief economist warns of a

Scottish academics held an industrial motion on Thursday which closed the overwhelming majority of faculties in Scotland, additionally demanding a ten% pay rise, and a number of other academics’ unions throughout the UK representing a complete of over 400,000 academics and assist employees are holding ballots which shut in January.

Telecom employees staged a walkout for the primary time in additional than 30 years in July to protest pay, together with extra dates in August and October, whereas airline baggage handlers went out for 3 days on Nov. 18 .

Some 100,000 civil servants, together with Border Pressure officers, additionally lately voted to go on strike over the Christmas season, demanding a ten % pay rise.