Hundreds of Royal Mail workers in Northampton set to strike over pay rates

“We'd like the public to support us. The support was massive for key workers throughout the pandemic.”
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Hundreds of postal workers in Northampton, and across the country, are set to go on strike on Friday (August 26) over pay rates.

Royal Mail workers at both the Crow Lane and St James Mill Road sites are set to go on strike on Wednesday (August 31) and then on September 8 and 9, as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The move comes after 97 percent of members in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted in favour of industrial action against an imposed two percent pay rise from Royal Mail.

Royal Mail in Crow LaneRoyal Mail in Crow Lane
Royal Mail in Crow Lane

Julian Travill, the CWU Area Delivery Rep for Northamptonshire said the imposed two percent pay rise means workers get an extra £9.17 extra per week. However, Mr Travill says postal workers would like a pay increase more in line with the cost of living crisis.

He said: "I think we can all appreciate that. There's strike action happening everywhere across the country and a lot of it is all the same - regarding pay.

"We're in a cost of living do we survive? I've got members up and down Northamptonshire who are using food banks. It's disgraceful, it's upsetting, it's upsetting for them. It's terrible times.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It was only back in 2020 that postal workers were key workers who connected the country together, all working through the pandemic, delivering vital goods and taking on the Covid test kit distribution that was put forward by the Government for Royal Mail to deal with.

"What has to happen is the leaders of the CWU and the leaders of Royal Mail need to get into a room and sort this out because it's not only going to affect the employees of Royal Mail and CWC members, it's also going to affect the public."

Mr Travill apologised in advance to the public for any potential disruption and also called on them for support.

"We apologise for the disruption that's going to potentially be caused to the public. We'd like the public to support us. The support was massive for key workers throughout the pandemic, the members up and down the country went way above and beyond during frightening times - we'd just like that support," he said.

Royal Mail outlined its pay rise offer:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

- The first two percent, which has been paid, is unconditional backdated to April 2022 – for all CWU grade employees including Fleet and Parcelforce

- A further 1.5 percent would be paid from the date upon which Royal Mail implement the changes agreed;

- In addition, a new ‘above and beyond’ bonus – worth up to two percent of salary for CWU grade operational staff who achieve it

Ricky McAulay, operations director at Royal Mail said the CWU has failed to engage in any meaningful discussion after three months of talks.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr McAuley said: “The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5 percent for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years.

"In a business that is currently losing £1 million pounds a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.

“Royal Mail can have a bright future, but we can’t achieve that by living in the past. By modernising we can offer more of what our customers want at a price they are willing to pay, all whilst protecting jobs on the best terms and conditions in our industry.

"We are ready to talk further with CWU to try and avert damaging industrial action but, as we have consistently said, it must be about both change and pay."

Mr McAulay apologised to the public for any disruption caused and said contingency plans are in place to “minimise” effects to the service.