Thousands of UK’s Royal Mail workers launch 48-hour strike

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The strike over a pay dispute came after failed negotiations that damaged postal delivery across the UK.

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Pickets were set up outside Royal Mail’s delivery and sorting offices in the United Kingdom after workers went on strike for 48 hours over a escalating wage dispute.

Members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) walked out on Friday, disrupting mail across the country.

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Talks between the two sides took place on Thursday, but there has been no sign of any progress, and the union plans to intensify the strike in the coming weeks.

The union said the strike by some 115,000 of its members is the biggest strike of the year amid lingering disputes in other sectors.

Another 19 days of strikes were announced on different dates in October and November, indicating a significant escalation in the dispute.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the CWU, said “this is an important announcement, but it is in line with the level of anger our members feel about the way they have been treated by the Royal Mail Group.”

“Royal Mail Group CEO treats postal workers like they are stupid. These are the same people who kept in touch with the country and returned the Royal Mail Group a record profit,” he said.

“Post workers across the UK are now fighting for their lives to keep their jobs and the services they provide to every home and business in the UK. We encourage everyone to support their local postal worker,” Ward added.

“Reckless Chase”

Meanwhile, a Royal Mail spokesman said that “the CWU cannot doubt the impact the reckless conduct of the 19-day strike has had on our weakened financial position and the job security of its members.”

“Royal Mail is losing £1 million ($1.1 million) a day. We operate in a competitive market and our clients have a choice. The continuation of the strike will force our customers to make this choice sooner rather than later,” the spokesman said.

“Our invitation to start negotiations through Acas remains in force. Our people need CWU management to recognize the reality of the situation that Royal Mail is facing as a business and urgently take part in the changes needed to adapt to the demands of customers in a highly competitive market,” he added.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience that the ongoing CWU strike will cause. We do our best to minimize any delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

Credit: www.aljazeera.com /

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