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Business / Local postal workers go on strike in UK-wide pay dispute

CWU members at one of the picket lines in Lerwick on Friday morning. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

POSTAL workers in Shetland have gone on strike today (Friday) as part of a national pay dispute.

More than 20 Royal Mail workers in Shetland are understood to have taken the action, meaning today’s post will be disrupted.

Picket lines were organised this morning in three locations across Lerwick, and judging by the number of car horn toots there appears to be plenty of support in the community.

Members of the CWU union across the UK who collect, sort and deliver parcels and mail voted to go on strike in a dispute over a proposed two per cent pay increase.

CWU Grampian and Shetland branch secretary George Ross said a proposed base two per cent pay rise is “nowhere near” what is needed due to inflation and interest rate increases.

He noted the planned 80 per cent energy price cap rise announced this morning and said “most can’t afford what’s being asked for at present on that front”.

CWU members at the picket line on the street. Photo: Chris Cope/Shetland News

Ross added: “Until a real and significant pay deal is on the table, we will have no other option than withdraw our labour.”

Strike days are also proposed for 31 August, and 8 and 9 September.

Royal Mail said in an update to the stock exchange earlier this month that the offer put to members potentially amounted to a rise of up to 5.5 per cent, subject to agreement on a series of changes.

The company said it was sorry for the disruption the strike may cause for the public, adding: “We want to reassure you will do everything we can to minimise disruption and get our services back to normal as quickly as possible.”

It said on strike days it will deliver as many special delivery and tracked24 parcels as possible, while it will also prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible.

The Royal Mail will not be delivering letters, with the exception of special delivery.

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