‘OUR members deserve fair pay and will be taking action for as long as it takes to get it,’ said Communications Workers Union (CWU) General secretary Dave Ward at a lively picket outside the Whitechapel Delivery Office at 6.30am yesterday.
He continued: ‘They have lost confidence in the company that has made £758m profit and given £400m to its shareholders, paying out record bonuses when there is skyrocketing inflation.
‘They are trying to turn Royal Mail into a gig economy company and have been trying to do that for some time and we will be fighting that as well.’
At the Southwark and Rotherhithe Delivery Office in Mandela Way CWU health and safety rep Frankie O’Brien told News Line: ‘We need a general strike, everyone out at the same time.
‘Royal Mail’s two per cent imposed pay increase is completely unacceptable.
‘They say they have no money but they have paid out to shareholders.
‘The “gold-plated” agreement that they are talking about tearing up is not just to protect our jobs but to protect the service for the public.
‘We don’t want a two-tier workforce, outsourced work or working all hours of the night.’
Also at Mandela Way, CWU rep Innocent Toby said: ‘We will be out until we get what we want. My wife is a nurse and she is now getting ready for a strike, we need everybody out.’
There was a strong picket at Stoke Newington Delivery Office in Stamford Hill on the first day of the four-day strike yesterday morning.
Matt Wood, CWU Unit Rep for Stamford Hill, said: ‘We are on strike for a pay rise with the cost of living crisis and inflation set to hit 18 per cent.
‘Royal Mail have given us a two per cent pay increase. They say “take what you are given and be grateful”. The decision was taken by executive action we didn’t have a say in it.
‘The biggest thing that we are worried about are the changes to our contract that they want to bring in. We are used to getting in for 6.00am which has been especially great this summer to avoid the worst of the heat.
‘They want to end all that and have us starting at 8.00am and work till 5.00pm or whatever hours they say they need.
‘All of this is is under privatisation and bids going in to break up Royal Mail. I agree with renationalisation it should be a public service that is not run for huge profits.’
On the picket line at Muswell Hill Post Office, local CWU rep John Halpin told News Line: ‘We are here today for a fair pay rise.
‘A two per cent pay rise, which we didn’t agree to has been imposed on us, while Royal Mail made £780 million last year with shareholders paid £480 million.
‘They want to change our terms and conditions and stop sick pay, basically, they want to rip up our contract and start again.
‘After the P&O scandal the government is giving bosses carte blanche to discriminate against workers and treat them in an unfair way. I think we should go for a general strike, but I’m talking personally, I can’t speak for the CWU.’