‘Determined’ members’ morale is ‘sky high’ after today’s Post Office strikePostal, Post Office (PO) May 3 2022
Striking Post Office workers are ‘determined to get the pay they deserve’, as a wave of strikes called by the CWU paralyses postal operations…
114 Crown Post Offices faced mass disruption as CWU members took industrial action across the UK today, alongside members’ working in the Post Office’s Supply Chain and Admin functions.
Carole Bowmaker, who represents Counters members in Scotland and Northern Ireland told CWU News that “support from members today has been second to none and their morale is fantastic” and added that it had been “really great to have our general secretary Dave Ward at our Glasgow pickets.” (Click here for video from picket)
CWU Post Office Counters Rep for Eastern & North London Clive Tickner said: “It’s been very, very positive today great support from members and a superb response from members of the public as well – they seem to appreciate the reasons for the action”, while North Wales and North West Counters Rep Neil Barry said that “our members’ morale is sky high – they’re determined to get the pay rise they deserve.”
Additionally, Alan Robertson – the CWU’s Supply Chain rep for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England, said: “I’ve spoken to every one of my depot reps today and we’ve had a fantastic turnout. Better than I’d hoped for. And we’re ready to go again if necessary.”
The union’s Supply Chain rep for Southern England and Wales, Rob Jones, reported a similarly strong turnout across the depots and cash centres that he represents, and urged Post Office bosses to “get to the bargaining table and get this sorted out – our people need this rise and I think there will definitely be more action if the company don’t settle our pay.”
Right across the country, the story was one of enthusiastic backing for the strike from members, with South Wales and South West Counters rep Chris Roche reporting that members “really are very angry” and that his message to Post Office CEO Nick Read was: “Get round the table and get negotiating properly,” while Anglia and Midlands rep Tim Pavelin said that there had been “great solidarity from the members” and added: “I hope Post office senior management recognise the strength of feeling and engage with the union.”
From the North East, Richard Titterington told us that the day’s action had been “uplifting” with “members standing up for themselves and united” and Central, North and West London Counters rep Garrie Bond said: “I am really quite chuffed by how it seems to have been supported. It has gone really well.”
The strike is against Post Office management’s insistence on a pay freeze for 2021, despite the company generating a profit for the last two years down entirely to their workers’ efforts.
This comes on top of an insulting pay increase of just 2 per cent – plus a £250 one-off payment (pro rata for part-timers) for the year 2022/23.
Given the RPI rate of inflation rising by 9 per cent already this year, this is a real-terms pay cut to our CWU key worker members, who consider the move to be a slap in the face – voted by 97.3 per cent on a 70.2 per cent turnout to take strike action.
Despite repeated attempts by the CWU to enter into proper negotiations, Post Office management have refused to budge.
CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said: “We know Post Office has turned over good profits in these past few years – management can afford to provide our members with a reasonable pay increase if they wanted.
“This is not an issue of affordability. This is about power play from a management that is needlessly antagonising its key worker employees. The attitude of Post Office needs to be viewed in the context of inflation rising by at least 9 per cent already this year.
“Post Office can’t continue to put their heads in the sand. This dispute won’t go away, and our members are united – they won’t accept a collapse in their living standards.
“To avoid more disruption to services this year, the CWU urges Post Office to get round the bargaining table and thrash out a settlement with us that treats our key worker heroes with the respect they deserve.”
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