A senior boss from the CWU (Communication Workers Union) has said that he would rather “smash Royal Mail to bits” than concede over a disagreement over pensions.
On Thursday, Terry Pullinger, who is currently the deputy general secretary of the CWU, made the remarks during a rally for postal workers that was held in central London.
The union has been disturbed in a long-running disagreement with Royal Mail regarding the suggested changes to pensions for workers.
On Thursday, Mr Pullinger informed crowds: “They’d better listen, because if they don’t make significant moves, then this will be a fight to the end because I’ve said it before, this is being wrecked this industry, over a long period.”
In a video which was uploaded to the Facebook page of the union, Pullinger added: “Well we’re not going to put up with that. Bring it on, because if that’s what they’re determined to do, we’d rather smash it to bits than hand it over to them to make all their money.”
On Thursday, Postal workers marched across London from the TUC Headquarters in Bloomsbury to the Mount Pleasant Delivery Office of Royal Mail in protest against shifting workers to a new pension agreement.
Last week, Royal Mail won a High Court injunction that is hindering a planned 48-hour strike by postal staff after claiming that it was “unlawful” because of the union’s failure to adhere to dispute resolution procedures that were previously agreed upon.
However, the CWU has described its actions “underhanded” and said that the march is the next stage in its fight for what it believes are fair terms for workers.
Mr Pullinger stated: “If Royal Mail doesn’t move, I’m telling you now, we will not back off in this dispute. Whether it’s six months, or whether it’s years.”
Royal Mail says that the changes to pensions for some workers will help control its ballooning deficit. It has warned that its top-up payment responsibility would more than double to £1.26bn in 2016 in the absence of any pension reform.
The company is planning to shift its workers from the current final salary scheme to a form of defined benefit scheme, which will have an effect on new members from April 2018.
However, unions have suggested that it will leave numerous workers worse off, and despite eighteen months of discussions, they have failed to finalise an agreement with the firm.
When the results of a ballot were revealed earlier this month, Members of the CWU had overwhelmingly voted to take industrial action.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said that it was “very committed to working closely with the CWU” in order to arrive at an agreement.
“We want to use the mediation process under the dispute resolution procedures in the Agenda for Growth to do just that,” said the spokesperson.