Royal Mail Call Off Planned Strike Action

Planned strikes by Royal Mail workers in the next two weeks have been called off after a challenge by the firm. Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are involved in a dispute over pay and conditions. The CWU said it had decided to withdraw industrial action notices for the next fortnight following a legal letter from Royal Mail.

A series of strikes have taken place in recent weeks and action will now resume on Saturday 12 November.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “We recognise the deep frustration felt by many members over this decision.” The strike action involves more than 115,000 workers, the union said.

The CWU has been locked in a long-running dispute with the company around pay increases keeping up with the soaring cost of living and working practices.

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.

Royal Mail has blamed strike action for rising losses and job cuts, as well as lower volumes of parcels being posted.

“The fact remains that the current direction of Royal Mail doesn’t benefit the company, the community or the country,” Mr Ward added. “We still need to secure a decent future of this industry, and no attempts to attack our union and our members will change our determination in fighting for that.”

Royal Mail confirmed that the CWU had withdrawn planned strike action originally planned for 2, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10 November.

“The CWU has withdrawn strike action following Royal Mail writing to CWU to highlight numerous material concerns with the formal notification of planned rolling strike action,” a spokesperson said.

The company and the CWU are due to attend scheduled talks at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) on Monday. “We will continue to do all we can to keep business, companies and the country connected,” the Royal Mail spokesperson added.

Royal Mail said strike action cost the business £70m during the first half of its financial year, leading to an operating loss of £219m, compared to a £235m profit last year.

It has been attempting to make the company a “parcels-led” business as the number of letters being sent through the post declines and more people shop online.

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