CWU confirm national postal strike dates

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The Communication Workers’ Union has announced this afternoon that national postal strikes are to begin next week. On Thursday 22nd October, mail centre workers and network drivers will stage a 24 hour strike, followed on Friday 23rd October by collection and delivery staff. By law the union has to give seven days’ notice of intended stoppages.

The CWU have said that

“We made a genuine offer to Royal Mail that would have given space for detailed discussions without a strike. We were severely disappointed that within two or three hours the company rejected it, apparently without even affording it proper consideration. This comes on the back of several rejections of CWU offers and is a clear indication that they are not trying to reach agreement.”

The union’s proposals to Royal Mail earlier this week – set out in a letter to Managing Director Mark Higson – demand amongst other things the revelation of RM’s complete business plan, improved job security and benefits package, and agreement to “the principle that budgets should not drive staffing levels”.

Royal Mail’s management called the strike ballot

totally unjustified, damaging to customers and a clear attempt to undermine the modernisation which is essential if Royal Mail is to face up to the reality of a rapidly changing marketplace.

In the House of Commons, Labour MP Geraldine Smith tabled an early day motion praising the CWU and calling on the government to “do all in its power to ensure that Royal Mail responds positively to the union’s proposal”. The wording is partisan to put it mildly, but 83 MP’s signatures does at least promise some high-profile support for ending the strike.

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