A disagreement over wages has led approximately 115,000 postal workers employed by Royal Mail to go on strike.
Walkouts will also take place on the 31st of August as well as the 8th and 9th of September, making today the first of four days of industrial action.
The Royal Mail has warned that during strike days, they will not deliver letters, and the delivery of some parcels will be delayed.
The labor union that the workers are represented by is pushing for a pay increase that more accurately reflects the inflation rate that is currently in effect.
Royal Mail has issued an apology to its customers and stated that it has contingency plans in place to reduce the impact of the disruption.
According to what it said, during strike days it will deliver as many packages as possible using the Special Delivery and Tracked 24 services. In addition, the delivery of medical prescriptions will be given top priority whenever possible.
On the other hand, it stated that there may be a delay in the delivery of items posted the day before a strike, during the strike, or on the days after.
In order to minimize disruptions, the company strongly recommends that customers post their purchases as soon as they can.
After three months of negotiations, Royal Mail stated that the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the strikers, had rejected a pay increase offer “worth up to 5.5%.” This news comes as a result of the previous statement.
The labor union has requested that Royal Mail raise employee pay to a level that “covers the current cost of living.”
The rate at which prices are increasing, known as inflation, is currently at a level that is the highest it has been in the past four decades and is projected to go beyond 13% later on this year.
Hannah Carrol, a postal worker who is participating in a strike at Whitechapel in East London, stated that she desired to see her wages increase so that they were more in line with the rising cost of living.
She remarked that “the price of everything is going up, and people are being forced to work more and more overtime.”
Ms. Carrol stated that she “couldn’t believe” how much the price of necessities such as butter was increasing, and she believed that this fact justified the need for higher wages.
It’s ridiculous that people have to put in seventy hour weeks just to make ends meet and starve themselves in order to provide for their families. People are working themselves to death in order to provide for their families.
Companies that utilize Royal Mail’s services have also sent out warnings to customers.
Moonpig, which makes greeting cards, has told customers to place their orders as far in advance as they can, but the company has said that the delivery of its gifts and flowers is handled by separate companies and will not be impacted by the strikes.
On strike days, the flower company Bunches has stated that it will send packages using DPD’s next-day courier service at a discounted rate.
In a speech given to employees of Royal Mail in Whitechapel, the general secretary of the CWU, Dave Ward, remarked, “Our resolve won’t be broken here.” “If it comes down to it, we will fight until the very end.”
It should be brought to everyone’s attention that the company reported record profits in the month of April.
He stated: “There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay raise they deserve.”
He continued by saying, “We can’t continue to live in a country where bosses rake in billions of profit while their employees are forced to use food banks. It’s not right.”
The most recent adjusted operating profit for Royal Mail for the year up to March was £416 million, which is an increase from the previous figure of £344 million.
As a result of declining parcel volumes and stagnating efforts to modernize the company, Chairman Keith Williams reported that the company is losing £1 million per day.
Simon Thompson, the chief executive officer of Royal Mail, told the BBC that the necessary change was to pivot the business away from one built for letters to one focused on parcel deliveries. Thompson noted that parcel deliveries now represented £6 of every £10 the company makes.
According to him, “in the last three years, we have spent a total of £900 million on the future of our teams by building infrastructure for parcels.”
“The reality that we face is that the Covid bubble has burst – we are able to see the state of the economy.