Postal workers are to take industrial action this month over
a bitter row over pay and conditions. Walk-outs will take place on 5/6 October
and 8/9 October followed by a rolling programme of strikes until the dispute is
Union leaders warned that the Royal Mail was about to
implement changes to the conditions of postal workers as it announced
provocative executive action over pensions, terms and conditions, ending Sunday
collections, closures and job cuts. Oxford and Reading Mail Centres are to
Royal Mail had improved its
original 2.5% pay offer, which was heavily rejected by postal workers and led
to a series of national walk-outs over the summer. The company is now offering
a two-year deal worth 6.7%.
However, Royal Mail was sticking to its pension proposals
which would see an increase in the retirement age and increased contributions.
The final salary scheme would be closed to all new entrants. The union’s postal
executive has therefore announced a ballot for strike action in all other
sectors such as Parcel Force.
This comes at a time when the government is attempting to
impose a 2% limit on the public sector. Brown warned unions in his keynote
address to TUC delegates there would be "no loss of discipline" over
public sector pay in the future.
Royal Mail is now saying that any deal with the union must
include "total flexibility", which means the declaration of all-out war with
postal workers. Local management has refused to talk with union reps. Royal
Mail bosses have thrown down the gauntlet! We have no alternative but to fight.
If the management refuses to budge over these attacks
following this month’s programme of action, the union has no alternative but to
go for all-out industrial action. This should be linked up with the other
public sector unions who are also in the firing line. A national public sector
strike would soon bring management to its senses and also force the Brown government