After days of indecision, the Communication Workers Union leadership yesterday announced a series of rolling strikes over two weeks, instead of the indefinite national strike action their membership have been demanding.
A CWU press statement said: ‘Although postal workers will individually take two days of strike action in the next two weeks, the strikes announced mean that there will be two weeks of continuous disruption to mail services.
‘The strikes call out separate functions nationally on different days and the timing is aimed at maximising the impact on mail.
‘The clear escalation of the strike has been called because Royal Mail have made it clear they are unwilling to engage in any meaningful negotiations.’
CWU Deputy General Secretary Dave Ward said: ‘Royal Mail management continue to ignore the union and its workforce. This is absolutely unacceptable.’
General Secretary Billy Hayes added ‘Again, we are calling on Royal Mail’s business leaders to enter fresh and meaningful negotiations aimed at settling the dispute. The fact that they continue to refuse to do so is a failure to their workforce and the public.’
London SE15 CWU Rep Billy Colvill said: ‘As a CWU rep, our members are expecting our leadership on the National Executive to stand up against Royal Mail.
‘Our members are losing patience and there is a growing understanding that this is a fight to the finish. Quite frankly, we need indefinite strike action to beat Royal Mail and its backers, the Labour government.’
He added: ‘It remains to be seen what actions Royal Mail will take over the planned days of action. If any of our members are attacked, as is the case in Oxford, then as a rep I call for the Executive to call us out indefinitely.
CWU South Central No1 (HP section) branch secretary Ian Gunne told News Line: ‘We need a more aggressive programme of strike action. One day actions are not enough.
‘We have to step up the action to force (Royal Mail chief executive Adam) Crozier and (Royal Mail chairman Allan) Leighton back to the table for serious negotiations.
‘Oxford Mail Centre are out on unofficial strike at the moment over the suspension of the late shift rep.
‘I would like to see unified action by the public sector unions to protest against the continuous attack on valuable public services.
‘We have to take the government on.’
CWU London regional secretary John Denton told News Line: ‘One day’s disruption every other week is not enough to bring Royal Mail to the negotiating table. We need to up the anti for more serious disruption.
‘At the moment, Royal Mail are digging their heels in.’
Yesterday mid-afternoon, Bristol CWU branch secretary David Wilshire said: ‘Our members are looking to escalate the action in a way that’s going to cause the maximum disruption to the business.’
At London’s Mount Pleasant sorting and delivery office CWU Acting Area Processing Rep Kevin O’Hara said: ‘We are still strong. The members are still up for the struggle, they are still solid.
‘A lot of them would like to see the union up the anti.’