Postal workers’ union leaders have hinted that talks with bosses at Royal Mail could end with a major strike—originally planned for October this year—going ahead.
The CWU union and Royal Mail are in the middle of an “external mediation” process invoked by bosses to stop workers striking in defence of their pay, pensions and conditions.
Workers had been set to strike for two days in October before bosses were granted an injunction to stop them by the high court. An appointed external mediator was set to present a report including their recommended solutions to the dispute.
But in a letter to union members last week the CWU described the talks as “difficult and protracted”.
It said, “The next couple of weeks will be crucial to determine whether a final agreement can be reached”. But it added, “This dispute is far from over”.
It comes after Royal Mail’s half year report revealed it had made profits of £77 million, and promised increased dividends to shareholders.
Yet bosses are still intent on forcing through cuts to workers’ pensions and salaries, as well as to its delivery model.
CWU members delivered a huge vote to strike earlier this year.
Workers at a delivery office in St Helens, Merseyside, staged an unofficial walkout last Thursday after a worker was suspended.
Socialist Worker says there should be strikes unless there is a deal that:
- Guarantees a pension scheme for all workers in the industry, not just those who’ve worked there the longest
- Gives workers an above-inflation pay rise not linked to productivity deals
- Guarantees that workers aren’t forced to change their hours to fit in with Royal Mail’s profit drive
- Gives workers a shorter working week—without loss of pay