Royal Mail workers vote for major UK summer strike

·2-min read

By Muvija M

LONDON (Reuters) -More than 115,000 postal workers at Royal Mail have voted to strike over pay, trade union CWU said on Tuesday, putting them on course for what could be the biggest industrial action to hit Britain this summer.

Rising inflation and stagnant real wage growth has forced unions across ports, railways and airlines to strike or trigger industrial action as Britain faces its worst cost-of-living crisis in decades.

Royal Mail had offered a pay rise of 5.5% for CWU-grade workers, which it described as its biggest increase in years. Inflation is forecast to reach 11% this year and the CWU demanded a "straight, no-strings" pay rise.

"The vote can leave no doubt that postal workers are united, and that they are demanding the proper pay rise they deserve," the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said.

If the strike were to go ahead, it would likely be the biggest industrial action taken by workers this summer in Britain, the union said. The ballot saw 97.6% votes in favour of taking action on a 77% turnout.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said that the company was disappointed with the result.

"Despite nearly three months of talks, the CWU have not engaged in any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to make to adapt," the spokesperson added. "In the event of industrial action, we have contingency plans to minimise customer disruption."

Royal Mail, amongst the oldest postal groups in the world, had shown caution in its last profit guidance, saying that meeting forecasts this year depended on the CWU agreeing a pay deal that was 'broadly in line' with its offer.

The company is expected to issue an update on its trading this week.

(Reporting by Muvija M; editing by William James and Kate Holton)

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