Burnham-On-Sea Royal Mail postal workers walked out on strike in a dispute over pay on Friday (August 26th).
Some 115,000 workers across the UK have joined the action.
It is the first of four days of industrial action, with walk-outs also planned for 31st August as well as 8th and 9th September.
In Burnham, over 20 members of staff joined the picket line outside the sorting office in Dunstan Road, as pictured here.
The union representing the workers is demanding a pay rise that more closely reflects the current rate of inflation.
Royal Mail apologised to customers and said it had contingency plans to minimise the disruption.
On strike days it will deliver as many Special Delivery and Tracked 24 parcels as possible, it said. It will also prioritise the delivery of medical prescriptions where possible.
In Burnham, six managers delivered ‘priority’ mail items locally on Friday.
It comes as Royal Mail said the Communication Workers Union (CWU), which represents the strikers, had rejected a pay rise offer “worth up to 5.5%” after three months of talks.
The union has called for Royal Mail to increase wages to an amount that “covers the current cost of living”.
Inflation, the rate at which prices rise, is at a 40-year high of 10.1% and expected to surpass 13% later this year.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “We are going to fight very hard here to get the pay rise our members deserve.”
“There can be no doubt that postal workers are completely united in their determination to secure the dignified, proper pay rise they deserve.”
He added: “We can’t keep on living in a country where bosses rake in billions in profit while their employees are forced to use food banks.”
“When Royal Mail bosses are raking in £758m in profit and shareholders pocketing in excess of £400m, our members won’t accept pleads of poverty from the company.”
Royal Mail’s latest adjusted operating profit for the year to March was £416m, up from £344m a year earlier.
A Royal Mail spokesperson said the business could not “cling to outdated working practices, ignoring technological advancements and pretending that Covid has not significantly changed what the public wants from Royal Mail”.
The company said it remained ready for further talks to avert the strikes, but that they “must be about both change and pay”.