LONDON: More than 115,000 workers at Britainit is royal mail began the first of four days of strike action on Friday over a pay dispute which the postal group said was likely to cause significant disruption to customers.
It is the latest in a series of work stoppages to hit Britain as workers demand higher wages in the face of a cost of living crisis, with energy bills soaring and inflation expected to exceed 13% later this year.
“We’re going to fight very hard here to get the pay raise our members deserve,” said Communication Workers Union General Secretary Dave Ward. Sky News.
Royal Mail says it has offered a 5.5% pay rise for CWU-level workers, its biggest increase in years.
The union, which said the strike was the biggest industrial action by workers this summer in Britain, disputes this and says the company has imposed a 2% pay rise on workers and offered 1, Additional 5% subject to changes in terms and conditions.
Britain’s centuries-old postal and delivery service apologized to customers for the disruption and said it had contingency plans in place but could not fully replace duties of its front-line staff.
Royal Mail warned earlier this month that it could incur a loss for its UK business in the 2022-23 financial year if the strike continues. Other outings are scheduled for August 31, September 8 and September 9.
Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said the company needed to change its working practices to reflect the fact that it now delivers more parcels than letters and the parcel delivery market is fiercely competitive.
“Royal Mail is a business that society wants to exist… but we need this change to be able to transform into a parcel business so that we can thrive,” Thompson told BBC Radio.
“We want to pay our team more. The more changes, the more we pay.”

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