// Royal Mail staff will strike on 26 and 31 August and 8 and 9 September
// The CWU union rejected a pay rise worth 5.5% and demanded Royal Mail give staff a “proper pay rise” as the cost of living soars
Royal Mail workers are set to strike for four days in August and September after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) rejected a proposed pay rise.
Around 115,000 workers will walk out on 26 and 31 August and 8 and 9 September after the CWA turned down a pay rise that Royal Mail claimed was worth 5.5% after three months of talks.
The proposed strike will have an impact on retailers that use Royal Mail to fulfil customer orders.
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The decision to strike follows a recent ballot in which 97.6% of members voted to take action.
The union has demanded that Royal Mail boosts wages to a figure that “covers the current cost of living”.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Nobody takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.”
“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.”
“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is simple – there will be serious disruption until you get real on pay,” he added.
Royal Mail operations development director Ricky McAulay accused the CWU of failing to engage in “any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to modernise, or to come up with alternative ideas”.
McAulay said: “The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years. In a business that is currently losing £1m a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.
“Royal Mail can have a bright future, but we can’t achieve that by living in the past…We are ready to talk further with CWU to try and avert damaging industrial action but, as we have consistently said, it must be about both change and pay.”
McAulay added that it had contingency plans in place to minimise disruption for consumers and businesses.