Royal Mail workers vote to go on strike in dispute over pay

·3-min read
 Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over pay, the Communication Workers Union have announced.(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)
Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over pay, the Communication Workers Union have announced.(Gareth Fuller/PA) (PA Archive)

Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly to strike in a dispute over pay, the Communication Workers Union have announced.

A ballot of union members showed huge support for industrial action in protest at a 2% pay offer.

A total of 97.6%, of those who voted, backed strikes, on a turnout of 77%. The union said it was an unprecedented result.

General secretary Dave Ward said there will now be a “small window” of opportunity for talks to avoid walkouts before strike dates are set.

He said postal workers received big support from the public for their efforts during the pandemic and would continue to receive backing for their pay campaign.

Mr Ward said the result was “also a vote of no confidence in Royal Mail’s chief executive and board”.

He added: “Crucially, the vote can leave no doubt that postal workers are united, and that they are demanding the proper pay rise they deserve.

“While bosses rake in £758 million in profit and shareholders take £400 million, workers are expected to take a serious real-terms pay cut.

“Postal workers won’t accept their living standards being hammered by bosses who are typical of business leaders today – overpaid, underqualified, out of their depth.

“In our country right now, corporate failure gets rewarded over and over again.

“It’s pathetic that CEOs take home lottery win salaries then offer real-terms pay cuts to people who made them their profit.

“The CWU’s message to Royal Mail’s leadership is loud and clear – not a single postal worker in this country will budge until you get serious and give them a dignified, proper pay rise.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that CWU members have voted in favour of industrial action.

“We offered a deal worth up to 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the biggest increase we have offered for many years, which the CWU rejected.

“We can only fund this offer by making the changes that will pay for it and ensure Royal Mail can grow and remain competitive in a fast-moving industry.

“Despite nearly three months of talks, the CWU have not engaged in any meaningful discussion on the changes we need to make to adapt. Ensuring we can change, at pace, is the route to protecting well-paid, permanent, jobs long term and retain our place as the industry leader on pay and terms and conditions. That is in the interest of Royal Mail and all its employees.

“In the event of industrial action, we have contingency plans to minimise customer disruption and will work to keep people, businesses and the country connected.”

It comes as the Government announced pay deals for some public sector workers with more than one million NHS staff, including nurses, paramedics and midwives, getting a pay rise of at least £1,400 with lowest earners to receive up to 9.3%.

Eligible dentists and doctors will receive 4.5% and police officers 5%, the Government said.

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