Postal employees in the UK launch Black Friday strike as commercial action sweeps the nation

Bank of England chief economist warns of a 'difficult trade-off' for inflation to hit 2%

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LONDON – Strikers from the CWU Trade Union go to the picket line at Peckham Royal Mail centre on November 24, 2022 in London,England Strikes prepared for the Black Friday weekend and the run-up to Christmas will go on after talks in between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union ended without arrangement.

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LONDON– Thousands of postal employees in the U.K. are on a two-day strike, interfering with Black Friday after talks in between Royal Mail and the Communication Workers Union failed.

Leaders of the trade union, which represents around 115,000 striking postal employees, returned to settlements with Royal Mail executives early last month, with talks now having actually covered 7 months.

However, Royal Mail Group– just recently relabelled International Distributions Services on the London Stock Exchange– stated in a declaration Wednesday that it had actually tabled its “best and final offer” and implicated the union of “holding Christmas to ransom.”

The CWU has actually revealed 10 more days of strike action up till Christmas Eve, of which 4 have actually been officially informed, with the last falling onDec 1.

In October, Royal Mail exposed strategies to cut up to 10,000 tasks by next summer season and published a half-year changed operating loss of ₤219 million ($2653 million), and CEO Simon Thompson stated the strikes had actually currently included ₤100 million to the business’s losses up until now this year. IDS shares have actually fallen more than 58% because the start of the year.

“In a materially loss-making company, with every additional day of strike action we are facing the difficult choice of whether we spend our money on pay and protecting jobs, or on the cost of strikes,” Thompson stated Wednesday.

“The CWU’s planned strike action is holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country, and is putting their own members’ jobs at risk.”

The union on Wednesday stated it met Royal Mail executives, however declared Thompson did not go to. In a declaration, the CWU alerted of “the end of Royal Mail as we know it.”

Royal Mail declares its newest deal consists of a boosted pay offer of as much as 9% over 18 months, a brand-new revenue share program for workers, a block on mandatory redundancies up until completion of March 2023 and an enhancement to voluntary redundancy bundles.

However, the union implicated the business’s executives of “turning Royal Mail Group into a gig economy-style parcel courier, reliant on casual labour,” enforcing mandatory redundancies on postal employees while keeping firm personnel on lower pay, and using a “wholly inadequate, non-backdated 3.5% pay increase.”

It likewise stated the offer on the table consisted of cuts to ill pay, elimination of a Sunday exceptional payment, later on begin and ending up times and the “introduction of technology that will monitor postal workers every minute of the day.”

BIRMINGHAM, U.K. – November 24, 2022: Postal employees on the picket line at the Central Delivery Office and Mail Centre inBirmingham Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are holding a 48- hour strike in a long-running disagreement over tasks, pay and conditions.

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“We will not accept that 115,000 Royal Mail workers — the people who kept us connected during the pandemic, and made millions in profit for bosses and shareholders — take such a devastating blow to their livelihoods,” stated CWU General Secretary Dave Ward.

“These proposals spell the end of Royal Mail as we know it, and its degradation from a national institution into an unreliable, Uber-style gig economy company.”

Postal employees in August voted extremely in favor of strike action in demonstration at pay and conditions, after Royal Mail at first enforced a 2% pay boost on employees while U.K. inflation was heading towards double digits. U.K. inflation hit 11.1% in October.

The union is requiring an enhanced 18- month pay offer, an assurance of no mandatory redundancies and an “alternative business strategy that would see Royal Mail Group use its competitive advantage to grow as a company, instead of becoming a gig economy parcel employer.”

Strikes throughout sectors

Workers throughout the general public and economic sectors stand out in the U.K. over pay, working conditions and pensions, with inflation performing at its greatest level for over 40 years and the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) recently forecasting the steepest fall in living requirements because records started.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) approximated that approximately 19,500 working days monthly were lost to commercial action in 2019, however this has actually increased because the Covid-19 pandemic, and hit 87,600 in July 2022.

Rail strikes have actually brought the nation’s train services to a virtual grinding halt on numerous days throughout the year, and the RMT union, whose members work for Network Rail and 14 other train operators, just recently enacted favor of 4 more 48- hour rail strikes in the run-up to Christmas.

The Royal College of Nursing just recently revealed that its members will stage walkouts by the end of the year for the very first time in its 106- year history.

The British Medical Association will hold a tally in January for junior physicians in England over a pay offer that would provide them a 2% boost this year, while 18,000 ambulance employees represented by the significant GMB and Unite unions are presently voting on strike action.

Scottish instructors held commercial action on Thursday which closed the huge bulk of schools in Scotland, likewise requiring a 10% pay increase, and a number of U.K.-wide instructors’ unions representing an overall of more than 400,000 instructors and support personnel are holding tallies which close in January.

Telecoms employees staged strike action for the very first time in more than 30 years in July in demonstration over pay, in addition to extra dates in August and October, while airline company luggage handlers went out for 3 days onNov 18.

Around 100,000 civil servants, consisting of Border Force authorities, likewise just recently voted to strike over the Christmas duration, requiring a 10% pay boost.