Royal mail strike: Public backs striking post workers and Enough is Enough campaign’s demands

Royal Mail staff are on strike again today, along with BT call centre and Openreach workers

A majority of the public back striking postal workers and believe that company executives should be subject to votes of no confidence by workers, in line with calls from union leaders.

Ahead of the next planned day of strike action among Royal Mail workers today (31 August), new polling by Survation also found that a majority of people think pay should be capped for company bosses.

This comes as separate polling commissioned by the Enough is Enough campaign found that more than 70% of people back each of their five campaign goals, including cutting energy bills, ending food poverty and increasing taxes on the rich.

The general secretary of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Dave Ward, who is also a central figure in Enough is Enough, said it is “time for Westminster to listen,” to the public’s views on these issues.

Royal Mail postal strike

More than half the public believe strike action taken by Royal Mail workers over a pay offer which amounts to less than the rate of inflation is justified, polling by Survation has found.

Of 2,005 people polled between 24-25 August, 53% backed the decision to strike, compared with 32% who said it wasn’t justified.

When the 15% of people who say they don’t know are removed from the sample, 63% of the public believe the industrial action by postal workers is justified, to 37% who believe it isn’t.

More than 115,000 workers will take part in industrial action again today (31 August), in what is the largest of the many strikes to have taken place in recent months.

The CWU has highlighted record profits of £758million posted by the company last year, as well as large payouts to shareholders and executive pay levels.

CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger said workers are fighting for a “no string, real-terms pay rise” and said the union “won’t be backing down until we get just that”.

He said: “Those managing Royal Mail Group are treating our members with contempt by imposing such a minimal amount.

“Royal Mail Group have failed to recognise the strength of feeling and have clearly lost the dressing room on pay, so they have left us with no choice but to fight.

“Our members deserve a pay rise that rewards their fantastic achievements in keeping the country connected during the pandemic, but also helps them keep up during this current economic crisis.

Speaking at the announcement of the successful Royal Mail strike ballot last month, CWU leadership said that directors at the company should take the overwhelming support for strike action as a de-facto vote of no confidence and resign.

Survation found that a majority of people, 62%, support the idea that workers should be able to hold votes of no confidence in their senior directors and chief executives, with 21% opposing the idea.

Public back inflation-matching pay rises and higher taxes for the rich

The Enough is Enough campaign, which was launched by a number of trade unions and community organisations earlier this month, has already seen half a million people sign up as members.

The group say they will organise and coordinate action across the labour movement to try and exert pressure on politicians and bring about change, with five key goals in mind.

New polling carried out by Survation shows each of these five goals enjoy overwhelming public support.

Based on a survey of 2,005 people from across the country, Survation found the following:

  • Pay should rise in line with the cost-of-living: Agree 76%; Disagree 7%; Unsure 14%; Don’t Know 3%
  • Cut energy bills: Agree 84%; Disagree 4%; Unsure 10%; Don’t Know 2%
  • End food poverty: Agree 83%; Disagree 4%; Unsure 11%; Don’t Know 2%
  • Decent homes for all: Agree 78%; Disagree 4%; Unsure 16%; Don’t Know 2%
  • Tax the rich more: Agree 72%; Disagree 8%; Unsure 17%; Don’t Know 3%

Commenting on the results, Ward said working people will no longer tolerate “attack after attack on our living standards”.

He said: “It’s time for Westminster to listen. For years, we have taken attack after attack on our living standards.

“We won’t tolerate it anymore. We demand dignity in work, security in our lives and respect from those we elect.

“And if we don’t get it, we are prepared to build a mass national campaign to boot them out and change this country for the better.”