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'A mood of rebellion' brewing: Royal Mail, BT and Openreach staff to go on strike tomorrow in one of the year's biggest walkouts
19 October 2022, 19:25
Royal Mail, BT and Openreach workers are all set to walk out tomorrow (Thursday) in one of the biggest strikes of the year.
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Union members at the three companies are all locked in separate, longstanding disputes with their employers over pay and working conditions.
The boss of the communication workers union (CWU) said that the chief executive of Royal Mail was dodging the issues that staff want to discuss.
Royal Mail boss explains why strikes are happening
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: "Instead of sitting down and sorting out his problems like an adult, Simon Thompson chose to be a vanishing act instead.
"When someone like him earns £62,750 a month and can give himself six-figure bonuses, it is a disgrace that he sees it fit to disrespect our members in such a way.
"Simon can't dodge the reality that a mood of rebellion is sweeping postal workers who won't accept Thompson's hostile and bizarre behaviour.
"Postal workers go above and beyond every day and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We won't be backing down until we get just that."
This is not the first time CWU members have been on strike in recent weeks, causing widespread disruption for the public.
And the CWU are just one of several union whose members have walked out this year, with staff often wanting pay rises in line with skyrocketing inflation, and improved working conditions.
Railway workers, council employees, barristers, lecturers and dockers are among other union members to have taken industrial action this year, with other groups of workers, including NHS staff and teachers, being balloted for strikes.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "On Friday, 14 October, we announced losses of £219 million in the first half of the year. "This once again demonstrates the urgent need for Royal Mail to change.
"Further strike action would materially increase our losses for the full year and may necessitate further operational restructuring and job losses.
"Four weeks have passed since we invited the CWU to enter talks with Acas to resolve the change and pay dispute. We once again urge the CWU to join us in Acas talks.
"This is the only way to reach a resolution and secure Royal Mail's future and jobs for our people.
"We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU's continued strike action will cause. We are doing all we can to minimise delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected."