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Royal Mail – Imminent Disruption to Service

BySteve MC |blogNews |16 August 2022

Even in this age of smartphones and emails, physical post is still part of everyday life. Many of us will get bills, mail from HMRC, magazine subscriptions, written notes from loved ones, or medical appointment notices through the letterbox – in addition to getting parcels.

Unfortunately, Royal Mail is set to be affected by strike action in the near future, as many industries have been this summer. Around 115,000 workers are taking industrial action over several days due to a pay dispute, and it could affect your post, so it’s useful to know when it’s all happening. Scheduled dates for the disruption are:

  • Friday, August 26
  • Wednesday, August 31
  • Thursday, September 8
  • Friday, September 9

The dispute between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has raged on for months – with Royal Mail offering workers a 2% uplift backdated to April 2022, along with a further 3.5%, subject to a series of changes. However, the CWU rejected the offer, calling it a ‘dramatic reduction’ given the cost-of-living crisis and rising inflation.

Dave Ward, CWU general secretary, said: ‘Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink. There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve… the CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay.’

For its part, Royal Mail said the business was losing money – and could only agree to pay more if changes were made. Operations development director for Royal Mail, Ricky McAulay, said: 'The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years. ‘In a business that is currently losing £1 million a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.’

But CWU Scottish secretary, Craig Anderson, said the changes wanted were actually ‘signing away terms and conditions’. He said, ‘They’ve imposed a 2% pay award without agreement. They offered another 1.5% based on signing away terms and conditions, and a further £500 as a bonus for having targets that they knew weren’t achievable. So, there was never a 5.5% pay offer put on the table.’

As for whether you’ll get your mail on these days, Royal Mail has promised to try and ‘minimise disruption’. It will prioritise the delivery of medications and Covid tests, as well aim to get Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels out as soon as possible – but if you’ve got something urgent to send, it’s probably best to send it early to avoid unwanted delays.

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