United kingdom. Thousands of Royal Mail workers went on strike to protest wage increases


77% of the 115,000 Communications Workers’ Union (CWU) voted 96.7% in favor of the strike. The result of the vote was announced by the union’s general secretary, Dave Ward.

Ward said union leadership would give the company “one more chance to get back to the negotiating table”, but if no agreement is reached, the CWU will notify Royal Mail of the strikes scheduled for August.

The vote confirmed the call for one of the biggest strikes in what the UK calls a “summer of discontent”, as different sections of workers take action to demand wages that keep pace with the rising cost of living due to inflation.

Rail workers staged strikes, as did Heathrow airport employees who called for a three-day strike, Unite said.

The CWU said the Postal Company’s management intends to impose a 2% wage increase which would amount to a “serious wage cut in real terms” for postal workers due to rising inflation.

Union head Ward said Royal Mail workers “need to see a pay rise now that reflects…it has upended company profits and the cost of living crisis”.

He added that the vote for the strike was against corporate directors, “while bosses earn £758m in profits and shareholders earn £400m, workers are expected to take a pay cut in real terms”.

The UK faces a further rise in inequality as the Office for National Statistics confirmed that inflation exceeded 9.1%, the highest rate in 40 years.

The dynamics of this situation and the willingness of the workers to fight for their rights are reminiscent of what has been known as the “winter of discontent”. A wave of struggles broke out in the winter of 1978-79 in the UK, in response to the then Labor government’s attempt to impose a 5% wage ceiling, at a time when inflation was high.

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