ROYAL MAIL TO IMPOSE CHANGES – CWU to carry on talking

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THE Communication Workers Union yesterday announced new strikes before the end of September, if no agreement is reached with Royal Mail, who intend to impose the changes they want next Monday.

A CWU spokesman told reporters at the TUC Congress in Brighton: ‘The postal executive decided to continue talks, but if we don’t reach agreement there will be strikes to be taken before the end of September.

‘These will be 24-hour national strikes and a resumption of the rolling strike programme of different functions.’

Asked when the strikes would be, he said: ‘We’re not able to name dates yet, we will have call new strikes by next week.’

He continued: ‘We offered Royal Mail to continue the period of calm, but Royal Mail refused that.

‘They are announcing today changes from next Monday.

‘These include the scrapping of early starts.

‘Scrapping early starts means our members can lose £25 a week.

‘Deliveries will be later. It will be worse for our members and there will be a reduction in the service for the public.

‘Plus, they are scrapping Sunday collections.’

The CWU spokesman said that there had been some progress in talks, particularly in regards to pay.

He added: ‘The postal executive discussed the package in the round and rejected it.

‘Royal Mail has offered a 6.7 per cent rise over two years plus a lump sum.

‘But there are still unacceptable strings, which include flexibility and pensions.’

A CWU statement summarised a rejected Royal Mail proposal.

It said: ‘Pay: a number of options that amount to 6.7 per cent on basic pay over two years with additional lump sums.

‘This includes more money in the first year.

‘Flexibility: a range of proposals which amount to total flexibility where postal workers will not know what job they are performing from day to day.

‘Pensions: the company has virtually retabled the previous rejected proposal as revealed by the “Daily Mirror’’, including a reduction in benefits, increased employee contributions and later retirement age.

‘No final agreement on a number of areas including job security, personnel procedures, automation, productivity and network changes.’

Dave Ward CWU assistant secretary told News Line: ‘We will be recalling the national demonstration and there is a strong possibility it will be during the Labour Party conference.’

Meanwhile postal workers nationally will be facing imposed changes next Monday.