A large strike across multiple industries will take place on Thursday, affecting a variety of services.
Royal Mail workers, BT staff and Openreach engineers will all walk out on the same day over pay and conditions - resulting in one of the biggest strikes this year so far. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have been engaging in a long-running dispute with the companies and have already resorted to strike action over recent weeks.
Railway workers, council employees, barristers, lecturers and dockers are among the other union members who have taken part in industrial action this year. Meanwhile, other groups are being balloted for strikes such as NHS staff and teachers.
A protest will be staged on Thursday in support of the strikes by union leaders attending the TUC Congress in Brighton. It comes after the CWU accused Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson of avoiding talks that aimed to steer away from strike action.
The union noted that relations between worker and employer have deteriorated, with Royal Mail serving a legal notice that it was withdrawing from existing agreements with the CWU while also threatening to get rid of 10,000 jobs after strike action took place last week.
WU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Instead of sitting down and sorting out his problems like an adult, Simon Thompson chose to be a vanishing act instead. When someone like him earns £62,750 a month and can give himself six-figure bonuses, it is a disgrace that he sees it fit to disrespect our members in such a way.
“Simon can’t dodge the reality that a mood of rebellion is sweeping postal workers who won’t accept Thompson’s hostile and bizarre behaviour. Postal workers go above and beyond every day and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
"We won’t be backing down until we get just that.”