Royal Mail staff in Kendal have continued their strike action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The Communication Workers Union launched its second of four days of strike action on Wednesday with Royal Mail staff across the country standing on the picket line outside their respective offices and delivery depots. 

Richard Munro, who has worked for Royal Mail for 20 years, said: "We are taking industrial action for improvements on the two per cent pay increase that has been implemented.

"It doesn't go anywhere near the cost of living, and inflation rate, which is running at nine per cent.

"We would like to see an inflation-based equivalent.

"We’re not just here for a pay rise. We're fighting for the terms and conditions for staff.

"Fighting for new people who come in to have the same pay and conditions as us.

"In my eyes, a lot of the public who are talking to us are fully behind us. We need to make a stand.

"We don't actually get paid on strike day. We lose a day’s pay to be here.

"Change is only possible through of actions like this, as we've had months of discussions.

"To the bosses at Royal Mail, I say please get back into negotiations with our union."

One worker said: “We are out here regarding terms and conditions. Sunday working, annualised hours, working longer hours in winter when it dark.

“The worries of sick pay being reduced or removed. I broke my ankle while working back in February so it takes a toll.

“Without sick pay I wouldn’t have managed.

“It’s the unfairness of it all. Royal Mail made £760 million, and they have seen big bonuses. That creates a bigger divide it feels.

“We have nice managers here who are very understanding.

“We had a two percent pay rise imposed on us but then it was taken away.

“People think we’re being greedy but no it’s about terms and conditions.”

One picket line was placed on Highgate while another was being held at the rear of the delivery office.

Paul Braithwaite, who has 37 years’ experience with the Royal Mail in Kendal, said: "We’ve been on the picket line since 4:30am this morning.

“Staff are respecting the strike. Some managers and non-unions are currently inside working. There are a few people still working.

“But the work is limited due to the strike.

“The local managers are supportive as they themselves had a strike action not long ago which was settled. They are being totally understanding.

“There will be two more strike days next week as well.

“This strike is for pay but the terms and conditions will have a separate ballot for them. They want to rip them up around allowance payments, flexi times, sick pay, new starters term and conditions.

“In my 37 years of work here there has always been issues and strikes but I’ve never seen it so entrenched.

“We will carry on negotiating.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “The CWU’s self-centred actions with the wider trade union movement is putting jobs at risk, and making pay rises less affordable.

“We are losing £1 million a day and the CWU’s strike action is making our situation worse.

"We want to protect well-paid, permanent jobs long-term and retain our place as the industry leader on pay, terms and conditions.

"Each strike day makes that more difficult, making Royal Mail’s future more uncertain than at any time in its long history. 

“The CWU has failed to respond to our latest invitation to meet to discuss change and pay, instead creating red herrings on the Universal Service, renationalisation and shareholder activity.

"The CWU is deflecting to avoid talking about the changes we need to make as a business. 

“On the CWU’s first strike day, more than 850 offices were operational as we worked to minimise customer disruption and keep people, businesses and the country connected.

"Over the Bank Holiday weekend, teams across Royal Mail have worked tirelessly to implement our recovery plans, ensuring NHS letters and critical government mailings were prioritised as we cleared the mail to return to normal service levels.

“We need the same commitment from the CWU’s leadership to engage on change, this is the only way we can unlock more pay. 

"Our future is as a parcels business. We must adapt old ways of working designed for letters to a world increasingly dominated by parcels and act fast.

"We cannot cling to outdated working practices, ignoring technological advancements and pretending that Covid has not significantly changed what the public wants from Royal Mail. 

“We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience the CWU’s strike action will cause. We remain ready to talk with the CWU to try and avert damaging industrial action and prevent significant inconvenience for customers.

"But any talks must be about both change and pay.”

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