Over 115,000 postal workers “will not budge” until they receive a “dignified, proper pay rise” after voting a historic mandate to go on strike.
In a ballot announced today (19th July), the Communication Workers Union – which represents Royal Mail Group workers – have voted by 97.6%, on a 77% turnout, to take action.
This represents the biggest mandate for strike action ever reached since the 2016 Trade Union Act was implemented.
The union is demanding that Royal Mail group enters into negotiations to secure a straight, no-strings pay increase for workers.
However, company management decided to executively impose a 2% pay rise on its employees, who were designated key workers at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In an economic climate where inflation has soared to 11.7%, the imposition would lead to a dramatic reduction in workers’ living standards.
Should strike action take place, it would likely be the biggest industrial action taken by workers this summer.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “This stunning result is a testament to the phenomenal efforts made by CWU members across the country.
“It is also a vote of no confidence in Royal Mail’s CEO and board, who should seriously consider their futures in our industry.
“Crucially, the vote can leave no doubt that postal workers are united, and that they are demanding the proper pay rise they deserve.
“While bosses rake in £758 million in profit and shareholders take £400 million, workers are expected to take a serious real-terms pay cut.
“Postal workers won’t accept their living standards being hammered by bosses who are typical of business leaders today – overpaid, underqualified, out of their depth.
“In our country right now, corporate failure gets rewarded over and over again.
“It’s pathetic that CEOs take home lottery win salaries then offer real-terms pay cuts to people who made them their profit.
“It’s unacceptable that bosses use Swiss banks while workers use food banks.
“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is loud and clear – not a single postal worker in this country will budge until you get serious and give them a dignified, proper pay rise.”
CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said: “Today’s vote was a terrific demonstration of the power and unity of CWU members.
“It shows that our members know full well what they are worth, and that they are willing to fight for the no strings, real-terms pay rise they’re entitled to.
“This union never wanted to be in this position. Since the beginning of this dispute, we wanted discussions and negotiations with management.
“But this was rejected by management, who have left us with no choice but to fight their disgraceful imposition.
“This was a miscalculation on their part, and there were never going to be any question of our members accepting this assault on them.
“Our members deserve a pay rise that rewards their fantastic achievements in keeping the country connected during the pandemic, but also helps them keep up during this current economic crisis.
“We won’t be backing down until we get just that.”