Royal Mail Strike: Postman Pat makes a welcome visit to striking postal workers

Royal Mail postal workers were joined by Postman Pat on their picket line on Friday to bring cheer to those striking over pay.

A postal strike started today (August 26) across the country and a special visitor joined a London picket line.

Royal Mail postal workers were joined by Postman Pat on their picket line today to bring cheer to those striking over pay.

Postman Pat joins the picket line

Picketers banged drums, waved flags and clutched placards outside the Royal Mail Whitechapel Delivery Office, as passing drivers beeped their horns in apparent support.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) general secretary Dave Ward spoke at the Whitechapel, East London picket and said: “The company made record profits last year: £758 million.

“They gave away over £400 million to shareholders, they rewarded themselves with huge record bonuses for achieving their financial targets and then imposed a 2% pay increase on postal workers.

“It’s simply not acceptable.”

He said that his members had lost faith in the leadership of Royal Mail.

While the friendly cat was a welcome sight for those on the picket line, there is a serious message behind this strike.

While the whole country is worried about rocketing energy prices, and the cost of living crisis has a real affect on many, those lower paid employees are hit the hardest.

Postal workers outside the Royal Mail Whitechapel Delivery Office

Royal Mail workers continued delivering post and parcels throughout the pandemic and while stores were closed people became reliant on making online purchases.

Royal Mail today said that the CWU called on its members who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters to take strike action on August 26 and 31and September 8 and 9.

Some 115,000 Royal Mail postal workers have walked out on strike in a dispute over pay.

The CWU which represents the strikers, had rejected a pay rise offer “worth up to 5.5%” after three months of talks.

The union has called for Royal Mail to increase wages to an amount that “covers the current cost of living”.

Inflation, the rate at which prices rise, is at a 40-year high of 10.1% and expected to surpass 13% later this year.

The CWU disputes Royal Mail management’s claims and said: “Royal Mail Group has imposed a 2% rise on workers without the agreement of the union.

“Separately, they have offered 1.5% but that is strictly conditional on postal workers agreeing changes which would rip up their terms and conditions.

“Finally, they have suggested a £500 lump sum could be paid in 2023 but have no clear view on the criteria for that.

“We urge you to make it absolutely clear this pay offer is the imposition of 2% and nothing else.”

Royal Mail are advising their customers to use Special Deliver and Tracked24 parcels if possible.

COVID test kits and medical prescriptions will be prioritised but no letters will be delivered.

Customers should also plan when they are going to post their items as collections will be less frequent on strike days.

Royal Mail is on strike from today for a further three days with walk-outs also taking place on 31 August as well as 8 and 9 September.

Royal Mail apologised to customers and said it had contingency plans to minimise the disruption.

Meanwhile Postman Pat is sure to make another appearance to those on the picket lines.