The Strategist

UK postmen decide to go on strike for Christmas

10/16/2019 - 10:39

The British postal service Royal Mail will strike, seeking to improve working conditions. The action may affect Black Friday, end-November sales and Christmas, BBC News reports.

Ross Holdway
Ross Holdway
More than 97% of the members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the postal workers union, which unites about 110,000 people, voted for the strike. The turnout was 76%. The terms and conditions of the strike have not yet been determined.

The union proposed a strike due to the fact that the company's management did not fulfill all last year’s promises to raise wages, reduce the working week from 39 to 35 hours by 2022 and change the conditions for retirement. With these promises, top management achieved cancellation of the previous strike. However, the union recently accused the company of violation of the agreements and associated this with the appointment of a new general director, Rico Back.

CWU Secretary General Dave Ward urged Royal Mail to engage in serious negotiations with the union.

Royal Mail expressed "deep disappointment" with the strike decision and said it would begin negotiations. It recalled that over the current year, it had twice raised salaries for employees and reduced the working week by an hour.

In total, Royal Mail employs about 130 thousand people, it is one of the largest employers in the kingdom. In recent years, the bulk of the company's business has been concentrated in the delivery of parcels.

The British Parliament established a postal service as such about 360 years ago, but Royal Mail traces its history since 1516. The company was privatized in October 2013. The state has earned from the privatization, the largest since the 1990s, 1.98 billion pounds.