THOUSANDS of Royal Mail staff are on strike over a pay dispute and it could disrupt postal services.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted for the walk out with dates confirmed for October and November.
Staff will strike on several different days in the coming weeks.
They follow previous walk outs on August 26 and 31 in a dispute over pay and conditions,
Workers also downed tools on September 8, September 9, and September 30, as well as October 1 and 13.
Service could be disrupted by strikes taking place on the following dates.
Workers who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters:
- Thursday October 20
- Tuesday October 25
- Monday November 28
Processing, distribution, international, collections, admin:
- November, 3, 9, 15, 24 and December 1
- November 4, 10, 16, 25 and December 2
- November 2, 8, 14, 23, 30
The walk outs follow a recent ballot for strike action which saw around 115,000 of CWU members vote to take action – 98% of them.
A fresh vote added a further date for a 48-hour walkout on Friday, September 30.
How will post be affected by strikes?
Royal Mail has warnedÂ of âsignificant disruptionâ and apologised for delays.
It has warned that it will try and deliver as many parcels sent as special delivery and Tracked24 and will prioritise prescriptions and Covid testing kits.
There will be no delivery of letters on these days.
The postal service recommends that people post items as early as possible before strike dates, and that collections will be less frequent on days of strike action.
But you can continue to post items at Post Offices and letterboxes.
Why are Royal Mail workers going on strike?
Workers are striking over a dispute to do with pay and conditions.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said when the latest strike days were announced: “This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.
“The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. “These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.
“Postal workers across the UK now face the fight of their lives to save their jobs and the service they provide to every household and business in the UK.
“We call on everyone to stand with their local postal worker.
Royal Mail says it must make changes because the business is losing money and customer habits have changed.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “On September 22, Royal Mail invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas to find a resolution to our dispute on change and pay.
“This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.
âFurther strikes and resistance to transformation by CWU will only make our financial position worse, and threatens the long-term job security of our postmen and women.
“The CWU has a responsibility to recognise the reality of the situation Royal Mail faces as a business and engage urgently on the changes required.
“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”
The CWU in July demanded that Royal Mail begin talks to agree to a “straight, no-strings” pay rise.
The union said management response with a 2% pay rise, which it claims would lead to a dramatic reduction in worker living standards due to soaring inflation.
Royal Mail said the CWU rejected an offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues that was the “biggest increase we have offered for many years”.
The firm also apologised to customers for the inconvenience and said it was doing what it could to minimise delays.
There are fears two million striking workers will bring UK to standstill in new Winter of Discontent.
Meanwhile there’s a warning of a beer shortage over the World Cup and Christmas as strikes loom among delivery drivers and factory staff.
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