CWU set to go through with Royal Mail strike

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has ignored a last -ditch appeal from
the Royal Mail’s head of HR to call off its strike over London weighting,
planned for tomorrow.

In a letter from Tony McCarthy, head of people and organisational
development at the Royal Mail, to Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the
CWU, McCarthy stressed there was no more money in the pot to boost London-based

"We do not have additional money to meet the union’s claims for a
further increase in London weighting," McCarthy stated. "This
situation will not change if the union decides to take industrial action; there
is no more money."

The CWU is due to call a 24-hour walkout tomorrow after London union members
voted for industrial action over London weighting allowance by 11,417 votes to

The union has demanded an across-the-board rise of £4,000 in contrast to an
offer from the Royal Mail of £2,667 a year in outer London, and £3,784 for
inner London.

The walkout follows a decision by staff not to back a national strike over a
proposed 14.5 per cent pay rise over 18 months.

McCarthy went on to call for both sides to take a less confrontational
stance during negotiations, and appealed for the re-engagement of partnership

"It is important that representatives from both the Royal Mail and the
CWU demonstrate a professional and respectful approach on all occasions, and we
therefore need to discuss and agree this approach," he wrote. "We all
know that both sides have some way to go before this is achieved."

However, the CWU appeared to distance itself even further from the company,
stating that its claims that only four out of 10 postal staff supported strike
action were "advanced nonsense" based on "the mathematics of
George Orwell’s worst nightmares".

By Michael Millar

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