• Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Oxfordshire postal workers out striking in ‘biggest protest since 2009’

Byoxfordnewspaper

Aug 26, 2022

POSTAL workers across Oxfordshire are striking today to demand fair pay.

The Communication Workers Union called on its members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take strike action today.

At Royal Mail’s East Oxford delivery office in Littlemore, dozens of workers went on strike this morning and held banners reading "stand by your post" and “on strike for fair pay.”

Workers at Parcelforce in Kidlington and staff from Royal Mail's delivery office in Witney were also out striking and there was a crowd protesting outside Banbury's office in Merton Street.

Dave Ward, the general secretary of the union, said that today’s industrial action was “the biggest strike in the UK since 2009”, as more than 115,000 postal workers across the country were protesting.

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He said his members voted in favour of the strike by 97.6 per cent in a ballot, after management “imposed” a 2 per cent pay rise on employees but “rewarded themselves with record bonuses”.

Mr Ward said: “Our members just lost total confidence in the actions of the company, the board, and they’ve lost faith in the leadership and people will understand that when they see the way that the company have conducted themselves.

“The company made record profits last year: £758 million. They gave away over £400 million to shareholders, they rewarded themselves with huge record bonuses for achieving their financial targets and then imposed a 2% pay increase on postal workers.

“Against the background of rocketing inflation, rocketing energy bills, it’s simply not acceptable.

“Postal workers in the UK are one of the last remaining pillars of our society.

“We are going to fight hard to get our members the pay deal that they deserve.”

READ MORE: Train drivers at three more operators vote in favour of strikes

Today’s strike will be followed by further stoppages on next Wednesday (August 31) and on Thursday September 8 and Friday September 9.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The strike thrusts Royal Mail into the most uncertain time of its 500-year history.

“It is putting jobs at risk and making pay rises less affordable. We are losing £1 million a day.

“We must change to fix the situation and protect high quality jobs.

“We want to protect well-paid, permanent jobs long-term and retain our place as the industry leader on pay, terms and conditions. That is in the best interests of Royal Mail and all its employees.

“We’re really sorry for the disruption that this strike action is likely to cause to you.

“We want to reassure you we will do everything we can to minimise disruption and get our services back to normal as quickly as possible.

“Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce.”