Strikes are here to stay this summer

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Did you notice that the Post Office strikes took place yesterday? Perhaps not as only 114 Crown Post Offices out of a total of 11,000 odd were impacted, but a more serious impact may come when supply chain and administrative workers strike this Thursday which will disrupt supplies to all 11,500 Post Offices.

The CWU Power Office strike is over pay with the union complaining that the current pay offer of a 3% pay deal for the 2022-23 financial year, alongside a one-off lump sum payment of £500, and no pay increase for the 2021-22 financial year is unacceptable – they point to the current RPI inflation rate of 11.7% and insist the Post Office can avert strikes with a much better deal which they say is affordable.

The blame for this disruption lies entirely with the senior Post Office leadership, who have repeatedly failed – and wilfully refused – to set out a sensible and fair pay agreement.

– Andy Furey, Assistant Secretary, CWU

The CWU are firing on all cylinders and currently balloting Royal Mail workers on strike action with similar complaints over pay. We should know the result and find out if the country is to be subjected to Royal Mail strikes on the 19th of July.

Then yesterday, train drivers who are members of Aslef voted to strike, although dates have yet to be set. These are separate to the June spate of RMT train strikes which involved just about everyone working on the railways except train drivers.

Other strikes impacting industry are impacting businesses from BA to BT and even our court’s barristers are out on strike impacting the justice system.

Of course some strikes have more impact than others on different sectors of the population. But with such a deluge of strikes coming down the road it’s unlikely you’ll avoid the effects of them all. And without a fully functioning government in place it’s difficult to see how any pressure can be bought to stall the strikes, although in truth the government haven’t proven themselves in a position to avoid striking workers at the best of times.

With inflation running at 40 year highs, it’s going to be tough for any employer to offer pay rises that keeps pace with the cost of living, so get used to strikes and have plans in place whether it’s using alternative carriers to deliver parcels or arrangements to get staff into work if their normal mode of transport is disrupted. It’s going to be a long hot and disruptive summer.


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