Post Office workers will walk out in a one-day strike next month after overwhelmingly backing action over a “woefully inadequate” pay offer.
Staff will shut down 114 Crown Post Offices – the larger branches often seen on high streets – on July 11 in the latest industrial action over proposed low wage rises.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) branded the tabled 3% wage rise and £500 lump sum payment for all staff “callous,” citing efforts as key workers during the Covid shutdown.
They added soaring rates of inflation – which are predicted to hit more than 11% by the end of the year – amounted to a “real terms pay cut” despite the firm making profits of more than £35m during the 2020/21 financial year.
The union is balloting Royal Mail and Parcel Force members next week with it likely they too will vote in favour of industrial action when the result is announced on July 19.
A Post Office spokesperson said they were “disappointed” by the strike announcement.
However CWU assistant secretary Andy Furey said workers had been “betrayed” by the pay offer, adding: “No worker wants to be in this situation, but Post Office bosses can’t be surprised that callous decisions are challenged by our members.
“This dispute is about dignity and respect for hard-working employees – essential public servants who, as key workers, provided unprecedented customer service during the pandemic.
“Our members will not tolerate their living standards being smashed by people in charge of a public service that due to our members’ efforts made tens of millions of pounds in annual profits.
“To Post Office bosses, our message is: get real on pay, get round the bargaining table for meaningful negotiations and settle this dispute, or further action will be taken.”
It will mark the thrid time Crown Post Office workers have undertaken strike action this year.
Staff previously walked out earlier in June over an initial 2.5% pay rise offer.
Over 97% of members voted in favour of further action during a ballot.
A Post Office spokesperson said: “We want to assure our customers that the vast majority of our 11,500 branches are unaffected by the CWU decision to strike on July 11 and will be open throughout the day.
“There are 114 branches, typically in city centres, that are directly managed by Post Office and on previous strike days over a third have opened as usual.
“We’re disappointed that the CWU have made the decision to strike but remain hopeful that we can reach a pay agreement soon.”