Wednesday 1 June 2022

Solidarity with CWU in their strike action for decent pay

Aberdeen Trades Union Council sends solidarity to our comrades in the Communications Workers' Union who are taking strike action on Monday 6th June to demand a decent pay rise.

The strike is an absolute last resort and is necessary as a consequence of Post Office’s ill-conceived policy on pay. CWU members delivered a 97.3% YES vote for strike action on a turnout of 70.2% due to the pay freeze. This means there is a clear mandate for strike action.

Post Office has a significant group of workers (Postal Assistants) earning less than £24k per annum and if they were strictly following Government’s Public Sector pay policy, these workers should have received at least a £250 pay rise – they have not.

On top of the pay freeze for 2021/22, Post Office has offered an insulting 2.5% pay increase plus a £500 one-off payment (pro-rata for part-timers) for 2022/23.

Despite repeated attempts by the Union to instigate meaningful negotiations since the YES vote was declared on 28th March, Post Office has steadfastly refused to get around the bargaining table. They are putting their heads in the sand hoping this dispute will go away.

All CWU represented grades employed by Post Office (approximately 2000) were Key Workers and worked throughout the pandemic, keeping the Post Office Network open for business. This includes Crown Offices in the major cities and towns, Supply Chain workers processing and distributing cash across the 11,500 Post Offices and Admin workers including call centres

The Cost of Living Crisis impacts upon all of our Key Worker members and Inflation (RPI) for April has increased to 11.1% and is likely to continue to rise. This means our members will suffer a pay cut in real terms and their quality of life will deteriorate as a consequence.

Post Office Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/2021 has now been published declaring a profit of £35m. 

Post Office can well afford to provide our members with a reasonable pay increase if they were inclined to do so. This is not an issue of affordability – it is a power play where Post Office think they can get away with it.

Post Office has claimed they are simply following Government’s Public Sector pay policy yet they have contradicted themselves, saying it is their decision to impose a pay freeze.

Post Office claims the cost of the Horizon scandal has nothing to do with their policy of a pay freeze. However, we know they have squandered tens of millions of pounds on legal fees defending the indefensible.

CWU is committed to resolving the dispute via negotiation; however, if Post Office continues to refuse to get around the bargaining table, further strikes will be called.