Royal Mail managers announce strike dates

Royal Mail managers to down tools over cuts to 700 jobs and pay

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Royal Mail managers across the UK are set to take industrial action in a dispute over further attacks on jobs and pay.

Unite, the managers’ trade union, says that 2,400 managers will work to rule on 15-19 July, followed by strike action on 20-22 July over what has now been confirmed by Royal Mail as a plan to cut 700 jobs and slash pay by up to £7,000.

Last year, Royal Mail paid out £400 million to shareholders and recorded a £311 million profit.

The union says that its members have no other option but to take strike action as months of consultation have failed to persuade Royal Mail off a path which Unite says is a ruinous and needless course given that the business is ‘awash with cash’.

Unite is calling on Royal Mail to recognise that it has to restore jobs because the proposed cuts are so savage they will destroy the service.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said,“This business is awash with cash but it is putting profits and dividends for the few at the top ahead of its duties as a public service.

“There is not a single aspect of these cuts which is about improving customer service. They are being driven entirely by a culture of greed and profiteering which has seized a 500 year-old essential service, driving it close to ruin.

“Our members are determined to force the business to take a different path, and they have the full backing of Unite.”

Last month, Unite revealed that the Royal Mail was running on empty, depending on thousands of unpaid hours provided by managers to hold the service together. The removal of hundreds more posts would make the six-day service that the company is obliged to run by the regulator, Ofcom, impossible to sustain.

Unite national officer with responsibility for Royal Mail, Mike Eatwell, added, “Our members have been forced to the position of taking industrial action because those running Royal Mail refuse to see sense.

“We have taken another detailed look at Royal Mail’s proposals, and it is worse than we first thought. The business is seeking to cut 700 posts on top of the 1200 cut last year. It is already running on fumes, depending on Unite members’ dedication and professionalism to hold the service together.

“For those managers who remain, they face cuts to their salaries of up to £7000. People who gave their working lives to this business will lose their homes. It is no wonder then that our members are angry and ready to take strike action,” he continued.

“Royal Mail knows what to do if it wants to avoid these strikes. Step back from these cuts and make a serious offer to Unite’s members that will restore jobs and preserve pay. Royal Mail can easily afford to do what is right.”

Industrial action by the managers, who voted by 86 per cent to strike (89 per cent in Northern Ireland), will impact the postal and parcel service immediately across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. According to Unite, during the work to rule and strike action:

• Deliveries will not be covered

• Managers will take their breaks and start and finish on time

• Managers will be taking their rest days leaving units with no manger on site

• Weekends volunteer operation won’t be covered

• Units will have no person in control responsible for safety of the staff and buildings

• Good will to work extra unpaid hours will cease

• Some key services, like next day delivery and tracked items, will be delayed

• Postal staff may refuse to cross picket lines or work in unmanaged buildings

By Ryan Fletcher

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