Dumfries and Galloway posties strike as union bosses slam “best and final offer”

Union bosses claim a new pay offer to posties represents “a devastating blow to their livelihoods”.

Members of the Communication Workers Union at Royal Mail at offices in Dumfries, Lockerbie and Castle Douglas began two days of strike action yesterday, with further walkouts planned for next week and December.

It’s the latest stage in their ongoing dispute with Royal Mail, which led to the company making a “best and final offer” in a bid to avert the strike.

The firm says it includes an enhanced pay deal worth up to nine per cent over 18 months, voluntary Sunday working, a new profit share scheme and more generous voluntary redundancy terms.

But union bosses slammed the proposal, claiming there would be cuts to sick pay, no job security and a “wholly inadequate, non-backdated 3.5 per cent pay increase”.

CWU general secretary, Dave Ward, said: “We are disappointed that instead of reaching a compromise to avoid major disruption, Royal Mail have chosen to pursue such an aggressive strategy.

“We will not accept that 115,000 Royal Mail workers, the people who kept us connected during the pandemic, and made millions in profit for bosses and shareholders, take such a devastating blow to their livelihoods.

“These proposals spell the end of Royal Mail as we know it, and its degradation from a national institution into an unreliable, Uber-style gig economy company.”

CWU members will be on the picket line again today with further action planned for Wednesday and Thursday next week as well as December 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24.

Royal Mail chief Simon Thompson said: “Talks have lasted for seven months and we have made numerous improvements and two pay offers, which would now see up to a nine per cent pay increase over 18 months alongside a host of other enhancements. This is our best and final offer.

“Negotiations involve give and take, but it appears that the CWU’s approach is to just take.”

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