How much do postal workers earn and why are they striking?

·3-min read
The CWU said workers were striking for a ‘dignified, proper pay rise’  (James Manning/PA)
The CWU said workers were striking for a ‘dignified, proper pay rise’ (James Manning/PA)

Royal Mail workers have begun a four-day strike over a pay dispute with the company, with strike days set for August and September.

On Friday, some 115,000 are expected to stage a walkout, which will last throughout the weekend, with Royal Mail warning that letters will not be delivered, and parcels will be delayed.

The strikes will be the first national walk-outs of postal staff, including delivery workers and those in sorting offices, since 2013.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has said workers are striking for a “dignified, proper pay rise”.

It is calling for “an adequate pay award that covers the current cost of living increases for our members”.

But, why are postal workers striking, and how much do they earn? Here’s everything you need to know.

Why are Royal Mail workers striking?

Amid the cost of living crisis, workers from the CWU have called for a pay rise that is more in line with the current rate of inflation, which stands at 10.1 per cent.

Workers for the CWU have reportedly rejected a prior offer of 5.5 per cent after prolonged talks and have set further strike dates on August 31 and September 8 and 9.

“We can’t keep on living in a country where bosses rake in billions in profit while their employees are forced to use food banks.

“When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758m in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400m, our members won’t accept pleas of poverty from the company,” CWU general secretary Dave Ward said.

When are they going on strike?

Royal Mail staff plan to strike on:

  • Friday August 26

  • Wednesday August 31

  • Thursday September 8

  • Friday September 9

How much do postal workers earn?

According to Glassdoor, postal workers earn on £22,460 per year on average.

How will the strikes affect services?

Letters will not be delivered on strike days, Royal Mail has said.

In a statement, it said: “Royal Mail has well-developed contingency plans, but they cannot fully replace the daily efforts of its frontline workforce. We will be doing what we can to keep services running, but customers should expect significant disruption.”

On days when industrial action is taking place, Royal Mail says it will:

  • Deliver as many special deliveries and tracked 24 parcels as possible

  • Prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible

  • Not be delivering letters (with the exception of special delivery)

Items posted on the day before the strikes, during, or in the days after any strike action will be subject to delay. Royal Mail said that it cannot guarentee special delivery of items by 9am or 1pm the next day, and that it is suspending the regular guarantees while strike action is occurring, reports iNews.

It is also advising people to “continue to post items at post boxes, or Post Offices, but to be aware collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place”.