Thousands of postal workers across Scotland take a further day of strike action on Friday in an increasingly bitter dispute over pay and working conditions.
Around 11,000 members of the Communications Workers Union (CWU) have been locked in a dispute over changes to working conditions with Royal Mail and shows little sign of being resolved.
The union claims Royal Mail imposed a 2% pay increase on members without consultation and is “refusing” to treat employees with respect, according to general secretary Dave Ward.
They will walk out again on Sunday, with further action planned throughout December including Christmas Eve.
“Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect,” said Mr Ward.
“Postal workers want to get on with serving the communities they belong to, delivering Christmas gifts and tackling the backlog from recent weeks.
“But they know their value, and they will not meekly accept the casualisation of their jobs, the destruction of their conditions and the impoverishment of their families.
“This can be resolved if Royal Mail begin treating their workers with respect, and meet with the union to resolve this dispute.”
Some postal workers in Scotland will travel to London to join around 15,000 of their UK colleagues in what is being dubbed the biggest postal workers demonstration in living memory.
Earlier this week, the CWU’s Scottish Secretary hit out at Royal Mail, who laid on a breakfast for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament.
He said: “Rather than get back round the table, senior Royal Mail managers are offering MSP’s a free breakfast in an attempt to legitimise the destruction of our Postal Service.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We spent three more days at Acas this week to discuss what needs to happen for the strikes to be lifted.
“In the end, all we received was another request for more pay, without the changes needed to fund the pay offer.
“The CWU know full well that in a business losing more than £1 million a day, we need to agree changes to the way we work so that we can fund the pay offer of up to 9% we have already made.
“While the CWU refuses to accept the need for change, it’s our customers and our people who suffer. Strike action has already cost our people £1,200 each.
“The money allocated to the pay deal risks being eaten away by the costs of further strike action.
“The CWU is striking at our busiest time, deliberately holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country.
“We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers and settle this dispute. During the last strike days, we delivered more than 700,000 parcels, and more than 11,000 delivery and processing staff returned to work.
“We recovered our service quickly, but the task becomes more challenging as Christmas nears.
“We remain willing to talk at any time about our best and final offer and urge the CWU to call off their damaging strike action.”