The workers of the British state postal company Royal Mail, as well as university professors from the United Kingdom, mobilized this Thursday in a day of strike to demand the increase in salaries and pensions, and the improvement of working conditions.
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Postal workers picketed the doors of post offices and package delivery offices, as well as outside the country’s universities and colleges. It is estimated that more than 100,000 workers in the sector supported the strike.
For its part, the Union of Universities and Colleges (UCU) announced that more than 70,000 university employees at 150 universities went on strike after union members voted yes to mobilization in two historic national votes.
Thus, the demonstrations of the different sectors are carried out on the same day as a result of negotiations between union leaders from different unions, in order to organize joint actions.
In addition to this Thursday, the sit-ins will take place on November 25 and 30, in rejection of their salaries, pension plans and contracts, in the largest called strike of this type, which will affect some 2.5 million students.
“The staff is exhausted, but they are fighting back and they will paralyze the entire sector. The vice chancellors alone are to blame; his unfortunate leadership has led to the largest strike vote in our industry,” said UCU General Secretary Jo Grady.
Before the protests, the Royal Mail postal company said it had presented the unions with its best offer to resolve the dispute, equivalent to a 9 per cent increase in wages over the next 18 months and a promise to develop a new benefits package for employees.
Today marks the biggest strike action in the history of higher education. I joined strikers from NUA & @UEA_UCU who took inspiration from Lorina Bulwer. Imprisoned in a Norfolk workhouse in the 19th century, Lorina embroidered messages that read as letters of protest or outrage. pic.twitter.com/GnYHCltc2m
— Clive Lewis MP (@labourlewis)
November 24, 2022
In contrast, the leader of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), David Ward, was disappointed with that proposal, which is below the increase in inflation. Furthermore, he noted that it marks the end of Royal Mail as it is known and its downgrading from a national institution to an unreliable, Uber-style company.