Postal workers vote for strike action

120,000 postal workers throughout Britain and Northern Ireland have been balloted for strike action. Gabriel McCurry, Chair of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) NI Combined Branch spoke to Gary Mulcahy about the issues behind the ballot.

“We have been forced to ballot for national strike action because Royal Mail management have breached an agreement reached in 2007 on pay and modernisation by imposing changes in shifts, driving up workloads, slashing jobs and refusing to negotiate any changes. 

“We have lost 40,000 jobs in the last two years due to voluntary redundancies and dismissals, but not a single one of these 40,000 jobs has been replaced. That’s meant postal workers have seen a huge increase in workload.

“Management though say we are still not working hard enough. They’ve imposed a pay freeze, despite the latest financial results showing £321million annual profit. They’ve also told us we won’t receive any further benefits for further changes. The CWU rejects this Royal Mail managements vision of a future of an overworked, underpaid workforce, with no say on what goes on and an industrial strategy of managed decline

“The CWU is calling for an immediate halt to the imposed changes without agreement. We are demanding real negotiations leading to a new comprehensive agreement covering all aspects of modernisation across our industry.

“We are fighting for a shorter working week and an increase in our basic pay. Our members have worked hard to create Royal Mails profits and should receive a fair share of the company’s success.

“The CWU believes a positive future can be agreed with Royal Mail in relation to modernisation and a successful company, but that can only be achieved by negotiation, mutual respect and agreement.

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