The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced that 97.1% of its union members in Royal Mail Group have voted for strike action in its latest ballot.
The ballot was carried out following increased concerns from workers over job security and terms and conditions of employment. CWU claims that an agreement reached with Royal Mail last year to raise pay and reform pensions is not being honoured.
The ballot, which included about 110,000 workers, but did not include Parcelforce members, saw the largest ‘yes’ vote and biggest turnout for many years, according to the CWU. CWU also announced that, in two separate ballots for members in Parcelforce Worldwide, outcomes of 95% and 94.7% in favour of industrial action were returned.
Dave Ward and deputy general secretary postal (DGSP), CWU, said, “Just over one year ago, the Royal Mail Group Board and the CWU agreed a blueprint agreement for the future, an agreement that included an historic pension solution, a mutual-interest-driven relationship and a joint vision for a successful postal service with social aims.”
But Ward believes the new leadership of the company has now, “broke that agreement.”
He continues, “Our members take honour seriously and have voted to fight for that agreement against those who now seek to break up the Great British postal service in the interest of fast-track profit and greed.
“The workforce has completely rejected the company’s plans to set up a separate parcels business and allow UK postal services and thousands upon thousands of jobs to wither on the vine,” Dave added, highlighting other issues of grievance, such as increased workload pressure on members, driven by technology.
In a statement, Royal Mail responded, “We want to reach agreement. There are no grounds for industrial action. Industrial action – or the threat of it – is damaging for our business and undermines the trust of our customers.
“Royal Mail wants to transform to meet our customers’ changing needs as we post fewer letters and receive more parcels. Working together at pace, the transformation is about ensuring a more sustainable company, a fairer working environment, the best terms and conditions in our industry and a contemporary universal service.”
CWU said that the exact date and length of strike action has not been decided yet.