Business / Majority of posties ‘ready to take action’ over pay dispute, local rep says

Some of the CWU members working in the postal service in Shetland. Photo: CWU

A LOCAL union representative says posties in Shetland are prepared to go on strike if a national dispute over pay is not resolved.

Communication Workers Union (CWU) Grampian and Shetland branch secretary George Ross said the Royal Mail’s pay offer for posties is “poor”.

Members of the CWU across the UK have already voted to go on strike in a dispute over a proposed two per cent pay increase.

The union said it is demanding that Royal Mail Group enters into negotiations to secure a “straight, no-strings” pay increase for workers.

“No-one, and I mean no-one, wants to take industrial action,” Ross said.

“Why would they, it means a loss of money in a time of a cost of living crisis. But we cannot accept two per cent when inflation is so high, and two per cent is basically a pay cut.”

Nearly 98 per cent of UK postal workers who took part in the CWU ballot on pay voted in favour of a strike.


The Royal Mail said it was disappointed with the outcome and added that it will “continue to seek an agreement”.

It noted that for any industrial action to take place, the CWU must provide Royal Mail with 14 days’ notice.

Ross said that if “sense can’t be seen then the impact could be huge”.

“Many posties see customers in small communities as friends, some are actually family and no-one wants to let anyone down or not deliver their mail but it’s time we took a stand and get what we deserve,” he said.

“The amount of parcel traffic over the pandemic period on Shetland was massive and the fact we had to change the way we worked over that period was testament to the posties making sure they went above and beyond to get the mail delivered.

Become a supporter of Shetland News


“Key workers were applauded on the work done, keeping communities intact and helping get things done while the country was in lockdown, and many had the ability to work from home.

“The posties never had that choice. We carried on and not only delivered the mail and parcels but we delivered massive profits.

“Out of the £758 million [profit reported by Royal Mail Group], £400 million was paid to the shareholders.

“We are being offered circa £9.17 a week or 25p an hour based on a 37 hour week.

“Not too sure anyone would see that as a reasonable pay offer and that’s why we are where we are.

“We all hope there’s a move to resolve the issues but if there isn’t, we are prepared to withdraw our labour.”

A further CWU ballot will be held tomorrow (27 July) on national agreements.

Meanwhile more than 40,000 BT Group workers are to hold a two-day national strike against “real-terms pay cuts” on 29 July and 1 August.

The CWU said the strike action is also “likely to have a serious effect on the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband”.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.