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Edinburgh Live
Edinburgh Live
Abbie Meehan

All the Royal Mail strikes to remember this autumn as industrial action hits Scotland

Thousands of Royal Mail and Parcelforce workers walked out of their jobs on Thursday morning in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

The first of a total of 19 strike days began on Thursday (October 13), which will impact postal deliveries across the UK.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are taking part in a 24-hour walkout today, and many more days across the coming months.

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So, those of us who are looking to get our Christmas shopping started early, it may be worthwhile to start even earlier this year, as the strikes will affect thousands of retail companies. Read on below for all you need to know about the upcoming industrial action.

Why are Royal Mail and Parcelforce workers striking?

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have decided to take industrial action against their workplace over pay and working condition disputes.

The CWU has accused the corporation of planning structural changes that would in turn affect employees in secure, well-paid jobs into a “casualised, financially precarious workforce overnight."

The general secretary, Dave Ward, said: “Postal workers face the biggest ever assault on their jobs, terms, and conditions in the history of Royal Mail. The public and businesses also face the end of daily deliveries and the destruction of the special relationship that postal workers and the public have in every community in the UK.

“It is insulting the intelligence of every postal worker for the Royal Mail chief executive, Simon Thompson, to claim that their change agenda is ‘modernisation’. It is nothing more than an asset-stripping business plan that will see the breakup of the company and the end of Royal Mail as a major contributor to the UK economy.

“Royal Mail Group claims to be losing £1m a day. The CWU believes these figures need to be scrutinised.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Three weeks ago, Royal Mail invited the CWU to enter talks through Acas to find a resolution to our change and pay dispute. We have not reached an agreement with the CWU on this request.

"Royal Mail is losing £1m a day and must change faster in response to changing customer demands. The CWU leadership’s choice of damaging strike action over resolution is weakening the financial position of the company and threatening the job security of our postmen and women.

“We call on the CWU leaders to cancel their planned strike action and accept our invitation to enter talks through Acas without further delay. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

When is the industrial action planned for?

Members of the CWU have planned 19 days of strikes, across many faculties of the business. This will include posties, delivery drivers, admin workers, distribution workers and many more.

The 24-hour walk-outs, starting from 4am, are on these dates:

  • Thursday October 20
  • Tuesday October 25
  • Monday November 28

Smaller groups of workers and teams will be striking on other days throughout the coming months. These include:

  • Processing, distribution, international, collections and admin workers: Thursday November 3, Wednesday November 9, Tuesday November 15, Thursday November 24 and Thursday December 1
  • Delivery workers: Friday November 4, Thursday November 10, Wednesday November 16, Friday November 25, and Friday December 2
  • Network workers: Wednesday November 2, Tuesday November 8, Monday November 14, Wednesday November 23 and Wednesday November 30

The strikes are planned to have a "dramatic impact", according to the CWU. The industrial action will impact high volume days, such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the lead-up to Christmas and Boxing Day.


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