Royal Mail says union strike move is an ‘abdication of responsibility’

Royal Mail has accused a union of abdicating its responsibility after announcing four days of industrial action.

Members of the Communication Workers Union are planning to strike on 26 August, 31 August, 8 September, and 9 September in a dispute over pay.

Royal Mail said workers have been offered a 5.5% rise, but the union said the rise reflects a 2% pay increase, a further 1.5% in exchange for a change in terms and conditions as well as a £500 bonus.

The union also insisted that, with inflation running at more than 9%, the offer is not enough to help members keep up with the cost of living.

Royal Mail said that if the strikes go ahead, it will expect to make a loss in the current financial year.

It added: “This decision by the CWU is an abdication of responsibility for the long-term job security of its members.

“In more than three months of talks, CWU has failed to engage meaningfully on the business changes required.

“The negative commercial impact of any strike action will only make pay rises less affordable and could put jobs at risk.

“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business, and to engage urgently on the changes required.”

Read more:
Royal Mail losing £1m a day, chairman says
Who is going on strike in August and when

Meanwhile, Scottish regional secretary of the CWU Craig Anderson told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland that workers are planning to strike because “we’ve been given no other option”.

He added: “A fair offer from our perspective would be for them to sit back round the table with us and actually look at where or what comes out at the moment with a cost-of-living crisis, where the company’s been with the profits that they’ve made, and actually start negotiating on a percentage pay raise that reflects that.”

Royal Mail said it is prepared to enter further talks but they “must be about both change and pay”.

It said it has contingency plans in place to minimise disruption.

CWU is among several unions taking strike action this summer seeking better pay for workers as living expenses rise.

The union is also involved in a pay dispute with BT.

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