Royal Mail is set to endure a national strike after a majority of postal workers voted to take part in action.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) today confirmed that three quarters of the workers who voted in the nationwide ballot were in favour of striking. The turnout was 67%.
Local strikes have already occurred across the UK since the last week of June. Postal workers in London have now taken some industrial action every week for 15 weeks.
The last national postal strike was in 2007.
Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “This is a huge vote of no confidence in Royal Mail management.
“The company has tried to make out that problems only exist in some local offices, but postal workers across the UK have now spoken and they say no to Royal Mail’s arrogance.
“Royal Mail has never really been engaged in modernisation. They’ve been running down the business, running down services and cutting costs and it’s that business plan that postal workers have overwhelmingly rejected today.”
Ward added there was still an opportunity to reach an agreement before any national strike took place.
The strikes this summer have already left a backlog of 20 million items of undelivered post, and if a nationwide strike is called, this will cause further major disruption, according to the CWU.
The union has accused Royal Mail of seeking arbitrary job cuts and replacing full-time roles with part-time ones. A dispute about the latest pay offer is also unresolved.
Royal Mail criticised the decision to press ahead with the ballot as wholly irresponsible.
The CBI has called the action disruptive, warning that small businesses and firms involved in direct mailing would be worst affected.