ROYAL Mail deliveries and corrections will be "shut down" across Scotland during four days of strike action, trade unionists have warned.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) says services will be disrupted as a result of the industrial action, which is set to take place on August 26 and 31 as well as September 8 and 9 in a dispute over pay. 

Royal Mail has said that workers have been offered a 5.5% pay rise, but the union says the rise reflects a 2% pay increase, a further 1.5% in exchange for changes to terms and conditions as well as a £500 bonus. 

Scottish regional secretary of the CWU Craig Anderson told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday that negotiations had broken down. 

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He said: “We’re taking this action because we’ve been given no other option. 

“The negotiations started in February regarding a pay rise for the workers within Royal Mail and the negotiations have broken down.

“They’ve imposed a 2% pay award without agreement. 

“They offered another 1.5% based on signing away terms and conditions, and a further £500 as a bonus for having targets that they knew weren’t achievable. So there was never a 5.5% pay offer put on the table.”

He called for Royal Mail to “sit back around the table” and look at where members are at regarding the cost of living crisis. 

Anderson added: “A fair offer from our perspective would be for them to sit back round the table with us and actually look at where or what comes out at the moment with a cost of living crisis, where the company’s been with the profits that they’ve made, and actually start negotiations on a percentage pay raise that reflects that.”

CWU is one of several unions who have will take strike action this summer to demand increased pay offers for workers owing to the rising cost of living. 

The union also has an ongoing pay dispute with BT. 

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Anderson said it would be difficult to come to a figure due to the uncertainty surrounding inflation with the most recent figure sitting at 9.4% although it is expected to rise as high as 13%. 

He continued: “The difficulty we have at the moment is we don’t know where inflation will be tomorrow never mind where it will be in six months time. 

“Our members don’t want to go on strike but we’ve been given no other choice. 

“We’re at gridlock at the moment and as I say we’d be quite happy to sit back round the table to discuss a pay offer.” 

Royal Mail has said that on days when strike action is taking place, they will deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked24 parcels as possible as well as prioritise the delivery of Covid test kits and medical prescriptions wherever possible. 

It has advised customers to post items as early as possible in advance of the strike dates and continue to post items at post boxes or their local post office although warned that collections will be less frequent on days when strike action is taking place.

Royal Mail’s operations director Ricky McAulay said: “After more than three months of talks, the CWU have failed to engage in any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to modernise, or to come up with alternative ideas.

“The CWU rejected our offer worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years. In a business that is currently losing £1 million a day, we can only fund this offer by agreeing the changes that will pay for it.

“Royal Mail can have a bright future, but we can’t achieve that by living in the past.

Responding to Anderson’s desire for Royal Mail to return to the table with a new offer, a spokesperson said: “After more than three months of talks, the CWU has failed to engage in any meaningful way on the changes we need to modernise, or to come up with alternative ideas. 

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“This is an abdication of responsibility for the job security of their members – our employees.

“Industrial action is a significant act of self-harm. Unlike some other sectors like rail, our customers have many choices.

“Even since our last strike in 2009, the market has changed markedly. Our retail customers can switch their volume to our competitors at the press of a button and they will press that button if they need to.”

Royal Mail also said that the pay package they were offering was worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues which would add around £230 million to Royal Mail's annual people costs. 

Speaking at the AGM in July, Royal Mail chairman Keith Williams said: “Our shareholders have taken a reduction in the dividend over the last few years while our employees have seen both increases in pay and reductions in the hours in which they work.”