As the UK prepares for a Christmas of industrial action, thousands of postal workers are striking again today.
Around 11,000 members from the Communications Workers Union (CWU), have been locked in a dispute about changes to working conditions with Royal Mail. It shows little sign of resolution.
According to Dave Ward, the general secretary of the union Royal Mail imposed an unconfirmed 2% pay rise on members and is refusing to treat employees fairly.
They will be walking out again on Sunday. Further action will be planned throughout December, including Christmas Eve.
Ward stated that the stubborn refusal of Royal Mail bosses to treat their employees with respect is putting Royal Mail at risk.
The CWU picketline at Wandsworth delivery offices on December 9, 2022, in London
Royal Mail workers are striking throughout December as part of an increasing row over pay, work and conditions
“Postal workers want their work to be done, so they can continue to serve their communities and deliver Christmas gifts.
“But they know their worth and will not accept the loss of their jobs, the destruction or impoverishment in their families.
“This dispute can be resolved if Royal Mail treats their workers with respect and meets with the union to resolve it.”
A number of postal workers from Scotland will travel by train to London to join approximately 15,000 other UK colleagues in what is being called the largest postal workers demonstration in living history.
The Royal Mail Islington Delivery Office is closed due strike action. Picture date: Thursday December 1, 2022.
Earlier this week, the CWU’s Scottish Secretary took aim at Royal Mail, who hosted a breakfast for MSPs at the Scottish Parliament.
He “Senior Royal Mail managers offer MSP’s a free breakfast to help legitimize the destruction of our Postal Service.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said that they spent three days more at Acas this week in order to discuss what needed to happen to lift the strikes.
“In the end, all that we received was another request to increase our pay without the necessary changes to fund the offer.
‘The CWU know full well that in a business losing more than £1 million a day, we need to agree changes to the way we work so that we can fund the pay offer of up to 9% we have already made.
Mick Lynch, the general Secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, and many others
‘While the CWU refuses change, it is our customers and our employees who are the ones who are suffering. Strike action has already cost our people £1,200 each.
‘The money that was allocated to the pay agreement could be eaten by the costs associated with further strike action.
CWU strikes at peak time, deliberately holding Christmas hostage for customers, businesses, families and employees across the country.
“We are doing everything possible to deliver Christmas for customers and settle this issue. During the last strike, we delivered more 700,000 parcels and more than 11,000 processing and delivery staff returned to work.
“We quickly recovered our service, but the task becomes more difficult as Christmas nears.
Mark Serwotka, chief of PCS, announced the action. He stated that the union could escalate industrial actions in the new year unless the deadlock has been broken. He also suggested the possibility of coordinated action with other unions involved.
Today, a thousand Border Force passport officers at five major airports became the latest public sector workers who walked out and destroyed the festive plans for millions of Britons. Pictured: Border Force at Gatwick Airport
“We are open to discussing our best and final offer at any time and urge the CWU not to take their destructive strike action.”
More than 100,000 PCS Members in 124 Government The public sector offices have voted for strike action, beginning next week with motorway traffic officers and driving examiners.
It will coincide with two 48-hour walkouts on the railways called by the RMT union, which is also set to cause travel chaos for millions.
Tens of thousands more nurses and postal workers will strike next week. Ambulance personnel will also walk out on the 21st and 28th of December.
MailOnline examines how strikes could affect your Christmas plans.
Nurses – December 15, 20,
Nurses are set to walk out of A&E and will refuse to provide treatment to cancer patients for two days this month.
On Thursday, December 15, and Tuesday December 20, up to 100,000 nurses will strike in industrial action, in protest over low pay and inadequate staffing levels.
The Royal College of Nursing sent a formal warning to NHS bosses that it would only guarantee ‘life-preserving care’ during strikes. Hospital discharges, radiotherapy, maternity services are all examples of services that do not meet this criteria.
The union demands the Government Prime Minister dismissed the offer of a 17.6 per cent pay rise to nurses. The default position will be that nurses will walk out of A&Es unless trust bosses persuade them they cannot deliver a safe service without them.
Nursing staff must be kept at a minimum level in order to ensure safety for patients.
To provide the minimum service, some nurses will be exempted from the strike. The exact numbers of those remaining on the job are to be negotiated between the RCN, each NHS Trust/Board.
Previous strikes by NHS staff led to cancellations of appointments and non-emergency operations. If an appointment has been scheduled for days that action is expected, it may be cancelled as it is not considered urgent. It will depend on whether the appointment falls on a strike date and if the trust has nurses walking out.
Another factor is the time the dispute has been going on between the parties. Government The union runs.
Some appointments that are not on strike may also be delayed, as more urgent procedures must be cancelled.
According to the RCN handbook, nursing provision should be equal to the skeleton staffing for Christmas Day. However, the NHS claims that it has well-tested procedures to limit disruption.
Emergency nurses in A&E and intensive care will keep working, as will district nurses who help elderly people in the community. Other exemptions will be discussed at a local level.
Ambulance workers – December 21, 28
GMB, Unite and Unison announced that their members would walk out of nine out of ten English ambulance services plus Wales on December 21. East of England will remain the only NHS ambulance trust that will not be affected. GMB, which represents ambulance workers, will also strike on December 28.
GMB members will strike at:
- South West Ambulance Service
- South East Coast Ambulance Service
- North West Ambulance Service
- South Central Ambulance Service
- North East Ambulance Service
- East Midlands Ambulance Service
- West Midlands Ambulance Service
- Welsh Ambulance Service;
- Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Strike action has caused NHS ambulance trusts to prepare plans that detail the staff they need in order to provide ‘life or limb’ coverage. These plans will be presented to unions, with details expected to be confirmed in the coming week. Unions anticipate that some trusts will request more coverage than is provided on non-strike day, due to staff shortages.
Unison, Unite and GMB can agree between themselves on what staff do and don’t do. If necessary, the Army may be called in to drive ambulances.
Patients dialing 999 may experience a longer wait to speak with a call operator, but calls will be diverted if necessary to reduce delays.
As usual, calls will be triaged. Unions pledge to respond to ‘life- and limb’ calls. Category one calls are for patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Category two calls include ’emergency calls’ such as strokes or heart attacks.
People with less severe illnesses may not be able to receive an ambulance response. They could be asked to go to their own hospital or seek treatment elsewhere.
Patients who rely on NHS ambulance service to transport them to hospital appointments could be forced to make other travel arrangements.
There are concerns that elderly people could die if they don’t have insurance for accidents and trips during an ambulance strike.
Steve Barclay, Health Secretary, said that there was still a question about whether ambulance services would cover all emergency calls during strikes. He According to officials, they planned to meet Thursday to discuss coverage for category two callouts. These include heart attacks, strokes and epilepsy, as well as burns.
The minister said however that he did not believe it. Sky News about falls was tended to fall under a category three emergency. Although ‘at this moment the trade Unions are saying that those things wouldn’t be covered’, ‘the indications from the trade unions is that conditions like heart attacks will be covered.
Rail workers – December 13-14-16-17, 6pm Christmas Eve to 6am December 27, January 3-4 and 6-7
There will be several 48-hour strikes on trains across the UK this month, and more walkouts in January.
- 13-14 December;
- 16-17 December;
- 24-27 December;
- 3-4 January;
- 6-7 January.
From December 18th to January 2nd, there will be an overtime ban on the railways. This will limit the number services that can be run.
Although the National Rail has not yet revealed which lines will be running services in the future, they said that their timetables would be updated before strikes occur.
The union represents 14 train operating companies workers, so their services will likely be affected.
Avanti West Coast Railway and East Midlands Railway. LNER. Greater Anglia, Cross Country Trains. South Western, West Midlands Railway. Northern, GTR.
Aslef, the union representing train drivers, announced that it has been given a new mandate for strike action of six months. It will be able to coordinate with the RMT, who has called strikes from December 24 through 27 and January 3-4, 6-7 to further disrupt the railways.
Aslef boss Mick Whelan defended threatening more walkouts despite the average train drivers’ salary being £60,000.
He He said, “Strikes should be used only as a last resort.” But the intransigent attitudes of train companies – with Government We have been forced to act with malice in the shadows.
Road maintenance – December 16-17 and 22-25, 30-31, January 3-6, 6-7
PCS members who work on England’s highways announced a 12 day strike action for Christmas and the New Years.
Employees of National Highways, who plan, build, maintain, and operate the country’s roads will be participating in a series staggered strikes that runs from 16 December through 7 January.
The planned strike by RMT members will coincide with the action, which may cause the road network grid to freeze.
Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the PCS, stated that while we understand that our members’ actions could cause inconvenience to travellers who plan on visiting their relatives during the festive period and are concerned about their safety, our members were placed in this position by a government unwilling to listen to its own workers.
“With the severe cost-of-living crisis, they deserve to be paid appropriately for the important work that they do, keeping our roads safe and free. The government is in the driving seat here – it’s in a position to stop these strikes by putting money on the table.’
Bus workers – December 9-10th, 15-17, 23-24
Abellio employs nearly 1,000 bus drivers. The strike will take place on December 9, 10, 16, and 17.
The action will be most severe for buses in south and western London. Striking workers will be at the depots in Battersea and Walworth.
Some of the bus strikes were called off.
Unite reported that Metroline employees had accepted a 11% pay raise, which was a significant increase on the 4% originally offered to drivers.
The workers accepted the improved offer and the planned strike action was postponed for later this month.
Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, stated that this is a significant victory in favor of Metroline members who have fought together and are willing to take industrial action to secure a much better pay offer.
“This pay deal is an example of how Unite’s commitment that it will always prioritise the jobs and pay conditions of its members is delivering notable financial dividends.
Laura Johnson, Unite regional office, said:From Unite members knew from the beginning that Metroline could afford a better salary rise than it was offering. After our members announced strike action we held fresh negotiations and a revised offer was made.
Border Force staff – December 23-26 and 28-31
According to the union Public and Commercial Services (PCS), approximately 1,000 Border Force workers at major airports will strike between December 23 and 26, and 28 and 31, according to the union.
Cirium flight data experts have calculated that around 2 million passengers will arrive on 10,000 flights to the airports during the Border Force strike period.
To assist striking guards, RAF personnel have begun training at Heathrow Airport.
The Border Force, on behalf of Home Office, is responsible for passport control checks at all UK Airports. However, RAF personnel are more comfortable checking travel documents and questioning passengers.
This week, troops were seen shadowing immigration officials at Heathrow’s passenger terminals.
It is also possible for military personnel to substitute for striking postal workers and ambulance drivers.
It is part of contingency planning that was drafted by a strikes unit’ within Cabinet Office.
Suella Braverman, Home Secretary, has asked people to reconsider flying around Christmas because she warned of ‘undeniable and serious disruption’ for thousands of people if strikes continue.
In an interview with broadcasters she stated: “It’s very regrettable they have made this decision over critical times in advance and following Christmas as well as the New Year.
“If they go ahead, there will undoubtedly be serious disruption for many thousands of people who have vacation plans.
“I really want people who are planning to travel abroad to consider their options because they might be impacted.
“We have plans in place that will include, to some degree, bringing in some military colleagues to assist us in a variety roles.
“Ultimately, I won’t compromise on security at border, that’s my number one priority.
“That could well have an adverse effect on people’s convenience, frankly, whether it be the time they have for flights or departures, they may well experience delays on arrivals and other travel plans. Security at the border is my number-one priority.
Heathrow Airport baggage handlers – December 16 from 4am for 72 hours
Heathrow Airport passengers will experience festive chaos after baggage handlers voted on the second Friday before Christmas.
Ground handlers working for a private contractor at London’s airport will strike in a 72 hour row over pay as Britain prepares for a ‘winter’ of discontent.
Around 350 Unite members who work for Menzies will walk out on Friday, December 16th at 4am.
The union has warned passengers that there will be more chaos in travel as they confirmed that some flight disruptions are possible. It will occur as schools close for Christmas, and families try to flee the capital for the holiday season.
Sharon Graham, General Secretary, said that Menzies should take a long and hard look at themselves.
“This is a very lucrative company that has made a fair offer to one group of workers, but isn’t ready to make a similar offer for its ground handlers.
‘Unite is fully committed to protecting its members’ jobs, wages, and conditions.
“Our members at Menzies will continue receiving the union’s total support.”
Unite claimed that ground handlers received a flat-rate increase, which it called a real terms pay cut.
Royal Mail postal – December 9, 11, 14-15, 23-24
Royal Mail workers will strike on seven December days, including Christmas Eve, as part of a long-running dispute over pay, job and conditions.
According to the Communication Workers Union, workers will walk out on December 23rd and 24, as well as December 1, 9, 11, 14, and 15, according to a statement. This raises concerns about Christmas post being severely delayed.
Nearly 99 percent of CWU members voted for strike action after rejecting a 2-percent pay deal.
A spokesperson stated that the CWU wanted a negotiated settlement from Royal Mail Group, and would continue to engage the company towards that end.
“But Royal Mail should wake up and realize we won’t allow them destroy the livelihoods for postal workers.”
Under its Universal Service agreement, the postal service wants to shift from a six day-a-week mail delivery service to five days, Monday to Friday.
However, the group will continue to offer a seven-day delivery service for parcels.
Sea ports and Eurostar
The PCS announcement did not mention any sea ports. This was Newhaven in East Sussex, where ferry services operate to France from Dieppe.
The union still has time for the union to announce that the walkout will also occur in Kent, which will affect the Port of Dover as well as Eurotunnel.
This would likely cause severe disruption.
Eurostar is not impacted by the Border Force walkout. However, the RMT union has announced strikes for its members working as security personnel by Mitie at London St Pancras International on December 16, 18, 22 or 23.
The union claimed that strikes will’severely effect’ cross-Channel rail services. Eurostar stated that negotiations between Mitie, the union, are ongoing.