It’s the first day of the Royal Mail 2022 strikes and already it’s having an impact for one local lady. At 7.45 this morning the local depot was practically deserted with the exception of one gentleman who turned up, unaware that strikes were on, to collect a birthday present for his sister. The doors were locked and he was turned away with his parcel locked up inside the building.
There is a skeleton staff working – managers who aren’t members of the CWU were on site but nothing is moving in or out today and all there is to see is a line of vans that won’t be moving to deliver parcels today and won’t be collecting mail from businesses to deliver tomorrow.
There were no picket lines locally, probably little point on a rural industrial estate where it’s likely I’m the only journalist to drop by. Plus I have a suspicion that regardless of which way they may have voted (and who wouldn’t vote for a pay rise?) that local Posties aren’t that militant and are kind of embarrassed that that won’t be doing their job today. Ones I have spoken to certainly didn’t want to talk about the strikes and swiftly change the conversation.
This set of Royal Mail 2022 Strikes are about pay rates. The CWU are keen to point out that they are nothing to do with the most recent ballot, which concerned terms and conditions and no doubt will lead to a second set of strikes in the near future.
The Union and Royal Mail don’t even agree on what pay offer is currently on the table. Royal Mail say that they have offered a 2% pay rise bumped to 5.5% if combined to changes to working conditions. The CWU say that Royal Mail Group have not offered anything.
According to the CWU, Royal Mail have imposed a 2% rise on workers without the agreement of the union. Separately, they have offered 1.5% but that is strictly conditional on postal workers agreeing changes which would rip up their terms and conditions. Finally, they have suggested a £500 lump sum could be paid in 2023 but the CWU say that they have no clear view on the criteria for that.
With the two sides a long way apart on a pay deal, the Royal Mail 2022 Strikes will also see Posties walk out on Wednesday next week, the 31st of August, and then the Thursday the 8th and Friday the 9th of September the following week.