More than 115,000 Royal Mail workers vote to strike over pay dispute
More than 115,000 Royal Mail Workers today voted in favor of a nationwide strike over a wage dispute in what could be the first of a fresh wave of strikes among public sector workers in the coming weeks and months.
In a vote announced today, the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents workers at Royal Mail Group, voted 97.6% in favor of industrial action with a turnout of 77%.
The union is demanding the Royal Mail group start negotiations to reach “a clear, non-binding wage increase for workers”.
It comes after Whitehall sources revealed last night that wage review bodies, which include doctors, nurses, soldiers, the police and a range of other occupations, will recommend comparisons of three to five percent to deter strikes among workers doing essential services.
But that’s far less than the 16% nurses are demanding, the Royal College of Nursing said, and well below forecast levels of inflation, which are expected to peak at 11% this autumn.
The plans put ministers on a collision course with the big public sector unions, which have warned of an autumn of industrial action.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said today: “This impressive result is a testament to the phenomenal efforts of CWU members across the country.
“It is also a vote of no confidence in the CEO and board of Royal Mail, who should seriously consider their future in our industry.
“Crucially, the vote leaves no doubt that postal workers are united and demanding the fair pay rise they deserve.
“While bosses rake in £758m in profit and shareholders take in £400m, workers are expected to take a serious pay cut.
“Postal workers will not accept having their standard of living pressured by bosses who typify corporate leaders today – overpaid, underqualified, overblown.
“In our country, the failure of companies is currently being rewarded again and again.
“It’s pathetic that CEOs take home lottery winning salaries and then offer real pay cuts to the people who made them their profits.
“It is unacceptable that bosses use Swiss banks while workers use food banks.
“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail leadership is loud and clear – not a single postal worker in this country will budge until you mean business and give them a decent, fair raise.”
CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said: “Today’s vote was a great demonstration of the power and unity of CWU members.
“It shows that our members know exactly what they’re worth and are willing to fight for the unrestricted, real-world pay rise they’re entitled to.”
“This union never wanted to be in this position. From the beginning of this dispute we wanted to talk and negotiate with management.
“But this was denied by management, who left us no choice but to fight their shameful imposition.
“That was a miscalculation on their part and there was no question that our members would accept this attack on them.
“Our members deserve a pay raise that recognizes their fantastic achievements in keeping the country connected during the pandemic, but also helps them keep pace in this current economic crisis.
“We won’t back down until we get exactly that.”