Strikes by postal workers will escalate from today in a worsening row over pay and jobs which could soon turn into a national dispute – threatening huge disruption to mail deliveries.
The Birmingham Post revealed yesterday that 180 Royal Mail drivers from Birmingham and Coventry would strike today in a row over alleged dictatorial management.
But the Communication Workers Union said up to 25,000 of its members will take industrial action in the next few days, including in Stoke-on-Trent and Leamington Spa in the Midlands, in the biggest outbreak of unrest since a national stoppage in 2007, with more disruption threatened in the coming months.
The union’s executive has decided to hold a national ballot of its 160,000 postal members in September which could lead to nationwide strikes.
Strikes have hit several areas of the country, including London and parts of Scotland, in recent weeks in the dispute over pay, jobs and services.
The action is now spreading to other parts of the country, and for the first time will involve drivers of Royal Mail’s lorries.
The Royal Mail condemned the strikes and clashed with the union over how many workers will take action, claiming it will only involve 12,000 employees.
Dave Ward, deputy general secretary of the CWU, said: “Postal workers are sick and tired of an incompetent management running their business into the ground.”