POSTAL workers across Wales have been out on strike today as part of UK wide industrial action over pay.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) are on strike today, and will also be picketing on Wednesday, August 31, Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9.

Around 115,000 postmen and women from all parts of the UK will be going on strike, as well as around 2,000 Crown Office, Supply Chain and Admin grades workers.

More than 200 of those are in Newport, as workers at the Royal Mail and Parcelforce took to the picket lines this morning.

Kevin Harris, who works at the Royal Mail site on Mill Street, said: "We’ve been here since 6am.

"This is about pay. We have had a derisory two per cent pay rise enforced on us.

"We want something which covers the cost of living."

The pay dispute has led CWU to call for industrial action, with the pay bump dismissed as "insulting" by members, especially considering current inflation rates and the fact the Post Office made £39 million in profit in 2021/22.

Royal Mail claim that CWU’s vision "would create a vicious spiral of falling volumes, higher prices, bigger losses, and fewer jobs".

CWU branch secretary James Clark said that the enforced pay rise has come at the same time as "shareholders making £400 million".

"The day they told us about the pay rise, the CEO announced millions in profit," he said.

"There will be ongoing action until this is resolved.

"Members are worried about how they’ll feed their families.

"Fat cats are getting all the money, we’re not.

"We worked every day though Covid. Now we’re being told we’re not good enough."

Mr Harris said reception to the strike had been positivie.

"The public are well behind us," he said.

"Businesses too, even though it might affect them the most."

Passers-by were honking their car horns in support of the striking workers, and Newport West MP and MS Ruth Jones and Jayne Bryant also attended the strike at Mill Street today in a show of solidarity.

Gary Watkins, regional CWU secretary for Wales, said: "More than 100 working here [Mill Street] are CWU members.

"All are supporting the strike and will be next week too.

"It’s been positive and we’re confident that they will stay solid and support the union.

"It reflects how strongly workers feel.

"We are disgusted over the way we’ve been treated.

"OpenReach and BT will be joining us on strike on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

"Our members at the delivery depot in Spytty, about 100 of them, are striking today too.

"Also, Parcelforce in Maesglas are part of the dispute.

"In total there are more than 200 CWU members on strike in Newport today."

A Royal Mail spokesperson said that today's strikes were "thrusting Royal Mail into the most uncertain time of its 500-year history", "putting jobs at risk" and "making pay rises less affordable".

"We are losing £1 million a day," they said.

"We must change to fix the situation and protect high-quality jobs.

"The change we need is the change the public demand of us. They want more and bigger parcels delivered the next day – including Sundays – and more environmentally friendly options.

"We cannot cling to outdated working practices, ignoring technological advancements and pretending that Covid has not significantly changed what the public wants from Royal Mail. 

"While our competitors work seven days a week, delivering until 10 pm to meet customer demand, the CWU want to work fewer hours, six days a week, starting and finishing earlier."

The firm, privatised by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government, defended it offer and said: "We want to protect well-paid, permanent jobs long-term and retain our place as the industry leader on pay, terms and conditions."

It also accused trade unions of having a "political agenda" though by law strike action in the UK has to be supported by a ballot of of workers impacted.

"We apologise to our customers, and the public for the inconvenience the CWU’s strike action will cause.

"We have offered to meet the CWU numerous times in recent weeks, but they declined each invitation, preferring to spend their time on the political agenda of the UK trade union movement."