“Huge amounts” of Christmas post is set to go undelivered after trade union leaders say calls for a festive “truce” with Royal Mail bosses did not succeed.
The postal strikes, earmarked for December 23 and 24, are set to go ahead after Royal Mail bosses rejected calls from the Communication Workers Union (CWU).
The union say they had wanted the company to sign a joint statement incorporating a promise of no compulsory redundancies and establish a “period of calm” in negotiations until January 16.
The strikes on Friday and Saturday mark the 17th and 18th days of action by union members in the bitter dispute over pay and working conditions.
The CWU have accused Royal Mail of attempting to “destroy the jobs of postal workers and remove their union from the workplace”.
The news comes on the eve of National Postal Workers Day on December 21 – an annual event which celebrates the role that posties play in British life.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “For Royal Mail Group to reject our offer just hours after receiving it demonstrates that they were never serious about saving Christmas for customers and businesses.
“When a company openly boasts of having built a £1.7bn fund to crush its own workers rather than use that money to settle the dispute and restore the service, then you know dark forces are clearly at work.
“Their sole intention is to destroy the jobs of postal workers and remove their union from the workplace.
“Our members will not stand for this, and further action will take place in 2023.
“Our message to the public and businesses is that postal workers do not want to be here, but they are facing an aggressive, reckless and out-of-control CEO committed to wrecking their livelihoods.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Throughout December, we have urged the CWU to call off their strike action and work together to deliver Christmas for our customers. The CWU have consistently refused our offer to do so, choosing instead to repackage old pay offers, absent of the change needed to fund the pay deal, in the misleading guise of new proposals to resolve the pay and change dispute.
“Our priority is to deliver for our customers, and this has never been more important as we approach Christmas. We would like to thank the increasing number of posties returning to work each strike day. They have been joined by thousands of employees from across the business who have swapped their regular day jobs to work in the operation as we focus all our efforts on delivering Christmas for our customers.”
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