British Post Office Workers Strike Over Pay Dispute

British Post Office Workers Strike Over Pay Dispute
A Post Office sign on May 7, 2013. (Tim Ireland/PA Media)
Lily Zhou

Supply chain and administrative workers at the UK’s Post Office are staging a 24-strike on Thursday over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) who deliver cash and supplies to sub-post offices, process finances, and work in administration are involved in the row.

It comes after CWU members who work at Post Office counters staged a strike over pay on Monday.

The CWU said the action on Thursday is over the pay freeze for the 2021–22 financial year, and the amount of pay increase offered for the 2022–23 financial year, which is 3 percent plus a one-off payment of £500 ($588).

CWU Assistant Secretary Andy Furey laid the blame for the national disruption “entirely” on the senior Post Office leadership, who Furey said “have repeatedly failed—and wilfully refused—to set out a sensible and fair pay agreement.”

Furey said the offer is “totally unacceptable” because it’s “far, far below the current 11.7 percent RPI inflation rate.”

A spokesperson for the Post Office said the company is “disappointed” the union decided to strike but “remain[s] hopeful that we can reach a pay agreement soon.”

“We have a range of contingency measures in place to minimise the impact of CWU strike action in our supply chain today,” the spokesperson said, adding its 11,500 branches “are open as usual.”

More Rail Strikes

Meanwhile, train drivers at eight rail companies will stage a 24-hour Saturday strike later this month in pay disputes, threatening more disruption to services.

Members of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen (Aslef) at Arriva Rail London, Chiltern Railways, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, Southeastern, and West Midlands Trains will walk out on July 30.

Drivers for Greater Anglia will also strike on July 23, and those on Hull Trains will strike on July 16 and 23.

The action is in addition to a planned strike by the Rail, Maritime, and Transport union (RMT) at train companies and Network Rail on July 27 and by Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association members on Avanti West Coast on the same day.

Aslef also announced that further ballots will close at Avanti West Coast and CrossCountry on July 27; and at Northern Trains, TransPennine Express, and Transport for Wales on Aug. 25.

RMT members last month staged a three-day national train strike, leaving services crippled for most of the week across the country, but the impact was curtailed to a certain extent as workers have become used to working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic.

PA Media contributed to this report.