CWU strikes in Somerset
The Communications Workers Union have announced a series of strikes over the next couple of weeks. These are national strikes and will in a number of cases directly impact on Somerset residents too. The dispute is with three employers, Royal Mail (a quoted plc), The Post Office Limited (part of government) and BT plc. In each case the dispute is caused by pay awards that have been offered that are significantly below the rate of inflation. With inflation now forecast to climb to 13% in the near future, this is turning into an issue that won’t go away.
On Friday 26 August strikes will be held at Royal Mail facilities and crown post offices. On 27 August the strike will continue at crown post offices. On Tuesday 30 August and Wednesday 31 August strike action will target BT and Openreach. Finally on Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September, strike action will again effect Royal Mail in the county. The Somerset Royal Mail Delivery Offices where CWU will have picket lines include:
- Bridgwater delivery hub
- Shepton Mallet,
- Castle Cary,
- Crewkerne, and
Nationally around 40,000 BT workers are expected to strike. The CWU say workers are are furious that a company that made a £1.3bn profit won’t negotiate with the Union. The CWU wants to get pay staff a cost of living payrise. They note that the CEO pocketed a 32% pay rise last year and the company paid out £750m in dividends.
The Post Office, owned by the government, has increased their offer to workers of up to 5%. However around 115,000 postal workers are expected to strike nationally. Royal Mail says it has offered its workforce a payrise of 5.5% but that this has been rejected by the CWU.
Terry Ledlie, Labour candidate for Yeovil announced “Friday 26th whilst on annual leave, I will join (the strike) as a supporter. I will also be joining Yeovil Postal Workers on Wednesday 31st August and will lose pay alongside BT workers who will also be on strike.“
With Royal Mail offices around the county on strike, even for limited times, expect some delays to your post.