Burnham-On-Sea Royal Mail postal workers have begun a fresh 48-hour strike in their ongoing nationwide row over pay and conditions.
A Burnham Royal Mail spokesman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We are staying 100 per cent strong and have 44 staff joining the strike this week – it started on Wednesday and continues today (Thursday).”
It is the latest in a series of walkouts involving 115,000 postal workers and will affect deliveries of letters and parcels across the UK.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the workers, says its members want a pay rise that matches the surging cost of living.
Royal Mail said it had tabled a revised offer but “no talks are happening”.
Postal workers in Burnham-On-Sea say another wave of strikes is planned this month in the run-up to Christmas – on 9, 11, 14, 15, 23 and 24 December.
On strike days Royal Mail will not be able to deliver first and second class letters. However, it will deliver as many parcels and Special Delivery letters as possible, giving priority to medical prescriptions where possible.
The dispute began this summer after Royal Mail rejected demands for a pay rise that matched the surging cost of living.
Inflation – the rate at which prices rises – is currently running at 11.1% , its highest in 41 years, as the cost of food and energy goes up.
The union also objects to proposed changes to working conditions, such as ending a number of allowances and the introduction of compulsory Sunday working.
The postal service has since offered a pay deal that it says is worth up to 9% over 18 months, calling it its “best and final offer”.
However, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said that offer represented a “devastating blow” to postal workers’ livelihoods and urged the public to “stand with their postie”.
“Royal Mail bosses are risking a Christmas meltdown because of their stubborn refusal to treat their employees with respect,” he said on Tuesday.
In a statement, he added that postal workers wanted to “get on with serving the communities they belong to” and tackling the backlog of presents and Christmas cards that has built up in recent weeks.