THE Dumfries and Galloway Trade Union Council have made a call for people to support a hardship fund for members of the Communication Workers Union. 

Royal Mail workers have been striking throughout December as part of a long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions. 

So far this month there have been four days of strike action with walkouts also set to take place on December 23 and 24. 

John Dennis, secretary of the Dumfries and Galloway Trade Union Council, told The National: “We’ve been supporting the pickets regularly whether its members of the CWU or the RMT as well as members from EIS and UCU.”

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He said that some members have lost more than £1000 as a result of strike action over the past few months.

Prior to this round of strike action beginning, Royal Mail said that it had made its “best and final offer” aimed at resolving its dispute with CWU workers. 

It said its revised offer includes “extensive improvements” that have been made during the negotiations with the CWU, including a pay deal worth up to 9% over 18 months. 

Dennis added: “I’ve sent out the information on how to donate to the hardship fund to around 300 contacts including every other trade union council who can adapt it and use it in their area.

“CWU members are standing firm for a cost of living no strings pay deal.”

The link to the hardship fund can be found via PayPal.

During an interview with Sky News in late November, Royal Mail chief executive Simon Thompson said the company is losing £1 million a day, which rises to £100m during strike action. 

However, the company profited by £416m in the year up to March and £344m last year which Thompson said was being spent on improvements sought by customers. 

Dennis continued: “Royal Mail look like they’re set for a long dispute backed as usual of course by the Tory government.”

Elsewhere, new analysis from YouGov has shown that 56% of people surveyed in Scotland support striking postal workers. 

This was the highest of any region across the UK and, when asked who was responsible, 55% of those polled in Scotland blamed the action as a result of either Royal Mail itself or the UK Government.

Overall, polling showed that people in Scotland are more consistently supportive of striking workers across a range of sectors including RMT staff and university employees. 

This comes after general secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress Roz Foyer told The National that the Scottish Government were more “respectful” of striking workers

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: "Strike action has already cost our people £1200 each. The money allocated to the pay deal should be going to our people, but it risks being eaten away by the costs of further strike action.

"Four weeks ago, we made a best and final pay offer worth up to 9% over 18 months. Instead of working with us to agree on changes required to fund that offer and get pay into our posties' pockets, the CWU has announced plans to ballot in the New Year for further strike action.

"Their misguided belief that further industrial action - in a business already losing more than £1 million a day - will result in an improved pay offer is misleading its members.

"The CWU is striking at our busiest time, deliberately holding Christmas to ransom for our customers, businesses and families across the country. We are doing everything we can to deliver Christmas for our customers, and would like to thank the increasing number of posties returning to work each strike day, temporary workers and managers from across the business who are helping to keep the mail moving."