Royal Mail is continuing a series of walkouts this week which its workers have declared “the biggest strike in the UK since 2009”.
More than 115,000 members of the Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) took part in the first round of strikes, in an ongoing pay dispute.
Here’s when strikes are taking place this week, how postal services will be affected on dates, and why workers are striking.
When is Royal Mail on strike this week?
Four Royal Mail strikes were planned in total, with the first two falling on Friday August 26 and Wednesday August 31.
The two finals take place this week on consecutive days:
- Thursday, September 8
- friday september 9
Will there be messages about Royal Mail strike dates?
Despite ‘well-crafted contingency plans’, Royal Mail acknowledged that these ‘cannot fully replace the day-to-day efforts of its frontline workforce’, with major disruption to postal services inevitable on the dates of strike.
The most significant effect is that Royal Mail will not deliver any letters on these days except those sent by Special Delivery.
Special delivery parcels are also given priority, although Royal Mail adds: ‘However, we cannot guarantee delivery of all items by 9am or 1pm the following day.
“We will therefore suspend the next day guarantee for items sent the day before, during the strike and until our services have returned to normal.
“Customers will not be able to claim compensation for items delayed during this time.”
Royal Mail has also promised to “prioritize the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions where possible” when strikes take place, alongside other Tracked24 parcels.
Any shipment deposited in mailboxes or post offices the day before, during or after the days of the strike is likely to suffer delays.
The majority of post offices are expected to be open on the dates the walkouts speak, though a small number will be affected by the CWU action.
Royal Mail has pledged to increase its network capacity and dedicate additional resources to ensure services return to normal after strike days.
Mail deliveries – and collections from businesses, post offices and post office boxes – are expected to resume the day after each strike.
Royal Mail advises customers to:
- Publish articles as soon as possible before strike dates
- Continue to drop items off at mailboxes or post offices, but be aware that collections will be less frequent on strike days.
Why are Royal Mail workers on strike?
Royal Mail said the CWU union had rejected a pay rise offer ‘worth up to 5.5 per cent’ after three months of talks.
The union is calling for a hike more in line with inflation, which is currently 9.4% and is expected to rise to 13% later this year.
Dave Ward, CWU General Secretary, said: “No one takes the decision to strike lightly, but postal workers are being pushed to the brink.
“There is no doubt that postal workers are totally united in their determination to get the worthy and appropriate pay rise they deserve.”
He added: ‘The CWU’s message to Royal Mail management is simple – there will be serious disruption until you really get paid,’ he said.
Ricky McAulay, operations director at Royal Mail, accused the union of engaging in “no meaningful discussions” after months of talks.
“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU colleagues, the largest increase we have offered in many years,” he said.
“In a business that is currently losing £1million a day, we can only fund this offer by accepting the changes that will pay for it.”
When Royal Mail is on strike this week and how the postal services are affected on dates