Post Office strikes to overlap with Royal Mail and BT industrial action

CWU’s Andy Furey says issues at stake ‘are all remarkably similar’ across separate trade disputes

Post Office workers will take their fourth round of industrial action over the August bank holiday weekend in an escalating row over pay that will overlap with strikes by workers at Royal Mail and BT.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said on Friday that members will strike on 26, 27 and 30 August.

Staff who work in crown offices – the larger branches often sited on high streets – plus supply chain employees and admin grade workers will stop work on 26 August, the same day as more than 100,000 Royal Mail workers go on strike.

Crown office employees will strike again on 27 August, while supply chain and admin members of the union will walk out on 30 August.

The last day of the Post Office strikes coincides with a strike by about 40,000 BT and Openreach workers, who will also walk out the following day, 31 August, after two previous 24-hour strikes earlier in the summer.

Meanwhile, train drivers are to strike again on Saturday, with further industrial action planned by railway workers belonging to the RMT at 14 train operating companies and Network Rail for 18 and 20 August.

And London Underground workers are set to walk out on 19 August, stopping a large number of tube services in the capital.

CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said its members would not accept a “massive lowering of their living standards”.

In a statement released on Friday, Furey added: “Although ours is a separate trade dispute to that of our Royal Mail colleagues – and our BT Openreach fellow members – the issues at stake here are all remarkably similar.

“A profitable company, a workforce who performed exceptionally during the pandemic – as key workers, continuing to attend work throughout – and an arrogant and uncaring senior management who seem dead set on attacking, impoverishing and humiliating its own employees.

“And just like our fellow members in those other, larger companies, our Post Office members will stand and fight, fight and fight again until justice is served.”

A spokesperson for the Post Office said: “We’re disappointed that the CWU have notified us of intention to take strike action at our 114 Directly Managed Branches on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 August.

“Our preference remains an accord with the CWU that will see an end to strike action. We have agreed to attend talks with the CWU at Acas [the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service] on Thursday 18 August to try to resolve our differences.

“The last time strike action was called in our Directly Managed branch network, 57 remained open on the day. We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches will be open.

“Postmasters will continue providing vital cash deposit and withdrawal services, bill payment services and gas and electricity meter top-ups.

“Separate CWU action at Royal Mail on Friday 26 August will cause disruption to letters and parcels services and there will be delays to the collection and delivery of items.

“However, customers that use our Amazon and DPD ‘Click and Collect’ services, available at thousands of branches across the UK, are unaffected by strike action at Royal Mail.

“We will also put in place a range of contingency measures to mitigate any possible impact of strike action in our supply chain network on Friday 26 and Tuesday 30 August. This action does not impact a branch’s ability to open.”


Joe Middleton

The GuardianTramp

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