Postal workers in Craigavon and across NI on 48 hour strike today and Black Friday over pay and conditions

Postal workers began a 48 strike today (Thursday) in the latest of several strikes since the summer over pay and conditions.

Royal Mail workers in the Craigavon, Lurgan and Portadown areas as well as across the UK launched their latest 48-hour strike with expected disruption to deliveries including Black Friday.

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Postal workers at the Royal Mail depot in Craigavon, Co Armagh. Workers are on strike for better pay and conditions.

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Postal deliveries are expected to be disrupted for 10 or more strike days in the run up and after Christmas.

Meanwhile Royal Mail says it has made its ‘best and final offer’

Industrial action will take place on Thursday and Friday this week with further strike days planned for November 30 and 1December 1 and on six days in December, including Christmas Eve.

Colin Mallon, Communication Workers Union representative for Lurgan Delivery Office and Brian Cummings, CWU rep in Portadown led the picket line at Highfield Depot in Craigavon where more than 100 workers are out on strike.

Mr Mallon said more than 115,000 postal staff are taking strike action across the UK to demand a ‘dignified, proper pay rise’.

Mr Cummings said the workers were seeking a pay rise in line with inflation. “The Royal Mail imposed a 2% pay rise, even though workers rejected it.”

He said workers are ‘angry’ at their treatment by Royal Mail. He explained that during the pandemic, when Royal Mail were losing money, the post office workers continued working. During the pandemic there was a rise in the use of the postal service and the Royal Mail made a huge profit, which Mr Cummings said much of which went to shareholders.

"We were the face for the people who were locked in their houses during the pandemic. Now Royal Mail has turned around a healthy profit, they have offered the workers 2%. It beggars belief. We are absolutely disgusted,” said Mr Cummings who explained that the firm had offered an extra 3% but claimed it came with strings attached and ‘would have had a serious detriment to their working conditions’.

The company revealed in a statement today that it had offered staff a 9% pay rise over 18 months, was committed to make Sunday working voluntary, and would make no compulsory redundancies before March next year.