‘THE 97.3% strike vote shows the anger of our members and their determination to defeat the pay freeze,’ Mole Meade, Communication Workers Union (CWU) Postal Executive member told News Line yesterday, ahead of today’s national Crown Post Offices strike.
Every one of the UK’s 114 Crown Post Offices is closed today and there will be no cash deliveries or collections from the 11,500 sub-post offices either.
Meade said: ‘All told, about 1,700 CWU members are taking 24-hour strike action. When we started to ballot for action to secure last year’s pay rise, the Post Office offered us nothing. Since then they have come back and offered us 2% for this year, which is another insult.
‘When you take five-eighths of that away, which is the NI increase, it means that some of the lowest paid key workers are being offered just 6p an hour.
‘The 97.3% strike vote on a 72% return shows that Post Office management are completely out of touch. If they think they can ride roughshod over our members they can think again and if they carry on ignoring us we will take further action.’
Last Friday, delegates at the CWU Annual Conference in Bournemouth pledged support for colleagues on strike today, unanimously passing an emergency motion, moved by CWU Assistant Secretary Andy Furey, committing the union to fully support the strike and ‘ensure a good presence on picket lines’ and pledging branches to ‘instigate local campaigning activities to support the aims of the dispute.
‘Our members delivered an astounding 97.3 per cent YES vote, but Post Office bosses are in denial,’ said Furey. ‘They made an insulting offer for 2022 on top of the pay freeze for 2021, which just made our members’ determination even stronger.
‘We believe Tuesday (today) will be seriously successful. Our reps have got plans in place and we’re encouraging all activists to join them on the picket lines.
‘I will write to the Post Office CEO Nick Read next Wednesday (tomorrow) urging him to get round the table with us and negotiate a fair pay deal – but if the Post Office leadership want to keep their heads in the sand there will be further strikes.’
CWU Deputy General Secretary Postal, Terry Pullinger, seconded the motion, saying: ‘These people have to be stood up against. Please carry this vote, but don’t just carry the vote, please get out there on Tuesday and support our members on the picket lines.’
After the vote, Furey said: ‘I was delighted with the conference decision this morning. Although I expected the motion to be approved, I hadn’t expected the sheer strength of feeling from the hall today.’