Hundreds of Royal Mail workers are set to march outside the Scottish Parliament to ask the Prime Minister for help in their dispute with company bosses over wages.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) said planned Christmas strikes must continue as talks between the two sides remain deadlocked.
CWU General Secretary Dave Ward wrote to Nicola Sturgeon asking for urgent talks to gain her support in an effort to end the dispute.
His decision led to hundreds of union members in Scotland descending on Holyrood on Thursday to demand the Prime Minister’s backing and underline their claims that Royal Mail has been mismanaged by bosses.
In his letter to Ms Sturgeon, Mr Ward said: ‘Royal Mail have announced a number of totally unacceptable job losses, which have been ‘justified’ by their financial mismanagement.
“This is the biggest attack on a group of British workers in decades, with senior management at Royal Mail openly calling on postal workers to pay the price for their mistakes.
“Only 18 months ago, our members were hailed as key workers who kept the country and business going during the pandemic.
“It is outrageous that Royal Mail now wants to impose massive job losses, including mandatory redundancies, as part of an asset stripping business plan.
“The company is deliberately reducing the services available to the customer to justify turning Royal Mail into another gig economy employer.
“We know that many customers and businesses in Scotland, particularly in rural communities, rely heavily on the USO (universal service obligation) and it is imperative that we work together to protect it.”
Mr Ward demanded a meeting with Ms Sturgeon to discuss the future of Royal Mail staff and urged her to seek an investigation into the management of the postal company.
In response, a Scottish Government spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister will respond to Mr Ward’s letter in due course.
The protest, which begins at 11 a.m., will see speeches by Andy Furey, acting deputy general secretary of the CWU, and Roz Foyer, general secretary of the STUC.
Royal Mail said it made a “best and final compensation offer”, worth up to 9% over 18 months, around three weeks ago.
A company spokesperson said: “Instead of working with us to agree on the changes needed to fund this offer and get wages out of the pockets of our postal workers, the CWU has announced its intention to vote during the new year for new strike action.
“Their mistaken belief that further industrial action – at a company already losing over £1million a day – will lead to an improved pay offer is misleading its members and jeopardizing their job security long-term.”
The CWU said it had offered ‘simple solutions’ to end the dispute, including an 18-month backdated 9% pay deal, a long-term job security commitment from the Royal Mail chief executive and a probationary period. calm for negotiations on the future direction of the company.
But the union said Royal Mail had not offered to meet members, adding that strikes scheduled for Thursday December 15, Friday December 23 and Saturday December 24 are expected to continue.
This means that the new last posting dates for arrival for Christmas Day are:
– 1st class, 1st class signed for – December 16
– Guaranteed Special Delivery – December 21
Royal Mail said it is ‘doing everything we can to deliver Christmas to our customers’ and thanked a ‘growing number of postal workers returning to work each strike day, temporary workers and managers across the company who help move the mail forward.