Postal workers began further strike action on Thursday morning after Royal Mail tabled what it said was its “final offer”.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said the public would see the “end of Royal Mail as we know it” as 115,000 workers walked out.
Strike action is to take place on Thursday and Friday, November 24-25, with further strike days notified for November 30 and December 1.
The union called the latest offer a “take-it-or-leave-it proposal”.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “We are disappointed that instead of reaching a compromise to avoid major disruption, Royal Mail have chosen to pursue such an aggressive strategy.
“We will not accept that 115,000 Royal Mail workers – the people who kept us connected during the pandemic, and made millions in profit for bosses and shareholders – take such a devastating blow to their livelihoods.
“These proposals spell the end of Royal Mail as we know it, and its degradation from a national institution into an unreliable, Uber-style gig economy company.”
However, Royal Mail said it had made a number of concessions and improvements over the seven months of negotiations with the union and urged the CWU to call off the action.
Simon Thompson, Royal Mail CEO, said: “Talks have lasted for seven months and we have made numerous improvements and two pay offers, which would now see up to a nine per cent pay increase over 18 months alongside a host of other enhancements. This is our best and final offer.
“The strikes have already added £100 million to Royal Mail’s losses so far this year. In a materially loss-making company, with every additional day of strike action we are facing the difficult choice of about whether we spend our money on pay and protecting jobs, or on the cost of strikes.”
A further six days of strike action could take place before Christmas Eve if the dispute is not resolved.
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