Royal Mail workers have accepted a deal on pay, hours and conditions, ending two years of “adversarial” industrial relations in the company.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by more than 9-1 in favour of the agreement, which includes a one-hour cut in the working week, a 2.7% pay increase effective from April last year and a further 1% from April this year.
Royal Mail welcomed the ballot result, saying the agreement will allow the company to make more frequent revisions to the network and introduce the use of technology to improve customer service and efficiency.
Royal Mail said in a statement that a review of the operational network will conclude by April to support and build on proposals for the parcel network, maintain an efficient letters operation and prioritise investment for further expansion.
This will include how Royal Mail operates new parcel hubs and introduce dedicated van delivery duties for parcels, as well as exploring the opportunity for more frequent deliveries throughout the week.
“We are now working with CWU to implement the changes we need, in order to capitalise on the significant growth we have seen in parcels so far this year,” said Royal Mail.
Terry Pullinger, the union’s deputy general secretary, said the agreement was the end of a two-year dispute, adding: “We want to make sure the next few years are nothing like the last few, adversarial, years.
“The agreement means change. If we want to secure the future of the business and protect jobs, we have to change and modernise.
“This is the right agreement at the right time.”