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Now Royal Mail staff are going on strike on Black Friday

The industrial action will likely affect the build-up to Christmas too

Written by
Ellie Muir

Online shopping fanatics and Depop hustlers, listen up. Royal Mail workers are going on strike throughout November and December after a long-running dispute over pay and conditions. That means you’ll want to make sure to stay updated on when the strikes are happening so your parcels aren’t delayed. 

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced that the industrial action will take place across a mixture of single days during peak times, some of which will be in the run-up to Christmas – the Royal Mail’s busiest period. 

CWU members was set to walk out 19 times over October and November, but the union cancelled two strikes on November 12 and 14, saying it wants to take more ‘proportionate’ action.

Why are Royal Mail workers going on strike?

The decision to strike is part of a long-running dispute between the workers and senior management over pay and conditions. The CWU has said that the intense disruption in October and November follows an ‘outrageous’ decision by Royal Mail Group’s senior management to withdraw from major national agreements and push through cuts to workers’ terms and conditions. The union says that it has been ‘completely sidelined’.

Dave Ward, the CWU’s general secretary, said: ‘This is a significant announcement, but it is one which matches the level of anger our members feel at the way Royal Mail Group has treated them.

‘The chief executive of Royal Mail Group is treating postal workers as if they are stupid. These are the same people that have kept the country connected and returned Royal Mail Group to record profit.’

A Royal Mail spokesperson said on September 22 that it invited CWU to enter into talks through Acas, the arbitration service, to find a resolution to the dispute on change and pay. The spokesperson added: ‘This evening, rather than responding to our offer of Acas talks, the CWU announced further damaging industrial action, once again taking the path of prolonging disruption over resolution.’

The union said that the pay offer was ‘a dramatic real-terms pay cut’, since it was out of line with the rising cost of living and rising inflation. The median pay at Royal Mail is £32,465 a year, with the average pay for a postal delivery worker lower than that at £25,777, according to the BBC

When are Royal Mail workers going on strike?

As well as during the build-up to Christmas, the CWU union has said that the industrial action will affect the run-up to Black Friday on November 25 and Cyber Monday on November 28, when online shopping typically peaks. The CWU said on November 3 that it will be discussing further strike action to take place over the Christmas period.

Here are the confirmed strike days:

  • November 24
  • November 25
  • November 30
  • December 1

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