The Royal Mail’s strike history goes back to 2022: when CMU members go on strike

Postal workers walked out Thursday (October 20) in the first 18 days of strikes that took place from October to December, including a busy pre-Christmas period that includes Blackriday and Internet Monday.

Strike action will continue over several days in the coming weeks, following previous strikes in August, September and early October. Royal Mail warned that the service could be disrupted and said it was doing “everything we can to minimize any delays”.

The strikes come on the heels of a recent strike vote that saw some 115,000 CWU members vote to take action to fight for a “dignified and decent pay raise.”

Thousands of Royal Mail employees will strike again over the coming weeks (Image: Getty Images)

When do Royal Mail employees strike?

The CWU gave official notice of the national strike on 25 October, as the strikes affected members who collect, sort, distribute and deliver parcels and letters across the UK.

The Royal Mail said it will do what it can to keep services running, but the strike is likely to cause some outages.

The CWU also plans to invite members who collect, sort, distribute and deliver packages and letters to take strike action over three days from November 2 through November 4.

Strikes planned for these dates involve CWU members in different areas of the Royal Mail, with each area going on strike on different days. This means that most services will only be affected in a day or two during the days planned for the strike that week.

Here is the full list of strike dates for October, November and December:

Workers who collect, sort and deliver parcels and letters:

Processing, Distribution, International, Collection and Management:

  • November 3
  • November 9
  • November 15
  • November 24
  • December 1
  • November 4
  • November 10
  • November 16
  • November 25
  • December 2
  • November 2
  • November 8
  • November 14
  • November 23
  • November 30

On days when a national strike is taking place, the Royal Mail said it will deliver as many delivery parcels and Tracked24 as possible, and will prioritize delivery of Covid test kits and prescriptions.

The Postal Service will not deliver letters on these days, except for Special Delivery.

It is recommended that people post items as soon as possible before strike dates, but groups will be less frequent on days when a strike occurs.

Why are Royal Mail employees on strike?

The CMU was surprised by a long-running dispute over wages and conditions and accused the postal service of plotting a structural change, which would see employees in safe, well-paid jobs transforming into a “transient and financially unstable workforce overnight”.

The union said plans include a three-hour delay in mail for members of the public, cuts to sick pay for workers and lower terms for new employees.

The union has accused Royal Mail CEO Simon Thompson of holding side talks aimed at avoiding a strike, and has said in recent weeks that relations between worker and employer have deteriorated, as Royal Mail has given legal notice that it is withdrawing from existing agreements with the union, as well as Threatening to cut 10,000 jobs after last week’s strike.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: “Instead of sitting back and solving his problems as an adult, Simon Thompson chose to be a fading business instead.

“When someone like him earns £62,750 a month and can give himself six-figure bonuses, it is a shame that he sees it appropriate not to respect our members in this way.

Simon cannot avoid the fact that a mood of rebellion engulfs the postal workers who do not accept Thomson’s hostile and strange behavior.

“Post workers go above and beyond every day and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We won’t hold back until we get exactly that.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Onriday, 14 October, we announced a loss of £219 million in the first half of the year. This once again demonstrates the urgency of changing the Royal Mail.

“A further strike would add to our losses for the full year and could entail further operational restructuring and job losses.

“It’s been four weeks since we invited the CWU to enter into talks with Acas to resolve the change and payment dispute.

“We urge the CWU once again to join us in the Acas talks. This is the only way to come to a solution and secure the future of Royal Mail and the jobs of our employees.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience this ongoing CWU strike will cause. We are doing our best to minimize delays and keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

The Royal Mail said the CWU’s statement regarding Simon Thompson’s salary was incorrect, stating that the correct figure was £525,000.