Postal strikes in the area over Royal Mail changes

PUBLISHED: 17:15 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:11 02 June 2010

STRIKE action will hit postal services in Cambridgeshire, West Norfolk and Lincolnshire. The Communication Workers Union Eastern Number Five Branch announced this week that the action is being taken in response to what they describe as, Royal Mail s drac

STRIKE action will hit postal services in Cambridgeshire, West Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

The Communication Workers Union Eastern Number Five Branch announced this week that the action is being taken in response to what they describe as, "Royal Mail's draconian and destructive proposals on business changes and the effect of earning potential and take home pay."

But the Royal Mail hit back today claiming that it "beggars belief" that the CWU would call on members to vote for a national strike which would damage customer confidence and undermine the entire UK postal industry.

The Royal Mail added that this action would, "severely damage ability to protect the Universal Service and preserve as many jobs as possible at a time when UK mail volumes are dropping by almost 10 per cent year on year."

Adam Oakes area delivery representative for the CWU said in a meeting of members: "Strikes are a proportionate response to an employer that is completely out of control. Rather than running the business, Royal Mail's actions demonstrate they are intent on destroying it.

"The CWU is committed to modernising the business and whilst ensuring quality of service is maintained, the CWU understand that changes need to be made in the current climate, but these need to be negotiated with the union.

"The CWU has offered Royal Mail national talks and two moratoriums, where we offered to put industrial action on hold to reach agreements on change, Royal Mail has refused both of these.

"The CWU believe that Royal Mail is a vital public service that many small to medium business rely on and that Royal Mail's approach to ripping out hours and jobs will destroy the mail service to houses holds in this country".

The industrial action follows Royal Mail's notification that they intend to enforce changes to duties in all of the offices that the CWU say will put job security at risk, reduce take home pay and increase workload for no extra pay.

A spokesman for the Royal Mail said: "More than 90 per cent of staff nationally will continue to work normally, and that with the exception of local strikes in London on Friday and next Wednesday, the vast majority of customers' services will be operating normally over the next few days.

"Outside London only fewer than 10 of Royal Mail's 1,500 offices are affected on Friday. On Saturday around 20 offices nationally, out of 1,500, are affected. On Monday only12 offices are affected and on Tuesday only one office has been asked to take strike action."

The spokesman added: "Royal Mail last week met with the union and agreed a timetable for a new programme of talks about the final stage of the 2007 Pay and Modernisation agreement. Yet the CWU repeatedly ignores our requests for them to engage.

"The CWU claims to want to engage in this process, just as it claims to support the essential modernisation of the business - but the announcement of a national ballot for strike action could not be clearer that the CWU's real agenda is to block change and modernisation at Royal Mail and to absolutely oppose on the ground our goal of making Royal Mail a strong and innovative leader in the UK and international postal markets."

The following action will be taken by CWU members:

Boston Delivery Office: August 8-10, all members will take action by not starting work until 9.15am on both days.

Skegness Delivery Office: On August 8 all members will take action from 8am.

King's Lynn Delivery Office: The members will take action from 8pm on August 9 until 9pm on August 10.

Huntingdon Delivery Office: The members will take action from 6-9am on August 7.

Peterborough Delivery Office (Werrington): Members will take action from 9pm on August 6 to 6am on August 10.


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