Royal Mail managers set to become latest to strike in Northern Ireland

Royal Mail staff are set to become the next to take strike action in Northern Ireland after months of pay disputes fuelled by the cost-of-living crisis in workplaces across both the public and private sector.

By Niall Deeney
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 4:39 pm
Royal Mail vans
Royal Mail vans

The trade union Unite has announced a period of work-to-rule for Royal Mail managers across the UK, followed by a period of full strike action.

In Northern Ireland, 89% of Unite members who took part in a recent ballot voted in favour of a strike in a dispute centred on job losses and pay.

The Unite members in Northern Ireland also backed industrial action short-of-a-strike by 88%.

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The union said 2,400 managers across the UK and including Northern Ireland will work to rule on July 15-19, followed by strike action on July 20-22.

A spokesperson for Unite said the industrial action is due to a Royal Mail plan to “cut 700 jobs and slash pay by up to £7,000.”

In a statement, the union said its members “have no other option but to take strike action as months of consultation have failed to persuade Royal Mail off a path which is a ruinous and needless course”.

Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said: “This business is awash with cash but it is putting profits and dividends for the few at the top ahead of its duties as a public service.

“There is not a single aspect of these cuts which is about improving customer service. They are being driven entirely by a culture of greed and profiteering which has seized a 500 year-old essential service, driving it close to ruin.”

She added: “Our members are determined to force the business to take a different path, and they have the full backing of Unite.”

Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole has faced significant disruption in recent months following strike action by workers in both the private and public sector.

It emerged on Monday that a strike by workers at private sector company Caterpillar, at its sites in both Larne and Belfast, had been called to a halt following a pay offer worth around 9%.

Another private sector strike, at flooring manufacturer Interface in Craigavon, was also brought to a halt following a pay offer worth over 15%.

Public sector workers employed by bodies including the Education Authroity, Housing Executive and local councils also went on strike in recent months but the action was suspended to allow talks to take palce. Teachers in the NASUWT union, meanwhile, have voted for strike action.