Postal workers will “fight as long as it takes”, with further strike action possible, a union chief has said.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are holding a fresh 48-hour strike on Thursday and Friday amid a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said the Government should “intervene”, vowing that his union will not give up.
Mr Ward told the PA news agency: “The situation at the moment is that we are not budging; no worker and no union would accept the jobs, losses and the terms that they’re attaching for a future of an industry that we care about.
“It’s time for the Government to intervene. The Government should be calling them to account, the Government should be looking at their actions over the last six months.
“We’re going to fight as long as it takes because we’re not giving up, and we’re not putting up with what is really corporate negligence to a point that we’ve not seen in this country for decades.
“This is getting bigger than just a group of postal workers fighting for their jobs – this is about what’s going on in this country, and how appalling some of these so-called business leaders operate and how on Earth they’re allowed to get away with destroying a company like Royal Mail.”
Asked if further strike action is possible, he said: “If we don’t fight, we can be absolutely certain that our members’ jobs are going to be destroyed and the service is going to be destroyed.
“We’ve got some other things we’re looking at now because we need to pile the pressure on.”
Mr Ward joined a small group of postal workers on a picket line outside a Royal Mail delivery office in Camden, north London, on Thursday.
CWU members carrying banners and flags arrived early in the morning and cheered as cars entering the delivery office beeped and waved to show their support.
Mr Ward called for Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson to be sacked, accusing him of “intimidating” and “goading” workers.
Royal Mail said an offer to resolve disputes includes “extensive improvements” that have been made during negotiations with the CWU, including an enhanced pay deal of up to 9% over 18 months, offering to develop a new profit share scheme for employees, and making voluntary redundancy terms more generous.
Mr Thompson has said “negotiations involve give and take” but the CWU’s approach is “just take”.
Asked about the comments, Mr Ward said: “Complete rubbish.
“If there was a true 9% pay offer over 18 months, linked to real modernisation, not asset-stripping and levelling down and destroying the public service that we are so proud to deliver, then we will accept that agreement.
“Tell the truth, Royal Mail, don’t come out and try and spin people that this is modernisation.”
He added: “What they’re doing is threatening our people every day. If they leave behind mail because they can’t complete it in their normal work time, they’re being threatened with the sack.
“They’re been pushed around to this delivery, that delivery, they’re being refused overtime when there’s mail in the office. They won’t pay out overtime for our people.
“They’d rather have the quality of service failures and then they blame it on the postal workers.
“And, genuinely, we’ve seen people resigning from the job because they’re sick and tired of the attacks that are going on in work.
“It’s a psychological attack.”