London’s postal workers voted 9-1 in favour of industrial action yesterday in a row over jobs, threatening huge disruption to mail deliveries.
The Communication Workers Union did not specify any strike dates, but confirmed that its dispute with Royal Mail over “arbitary” job cuts would lead to industrial action, potentially this month, after 65% of those eligible to vote participated in the strike ballot.
John Simkins, the CWU representative for London, said Royal Mail was cutting full-time jobs and replacing them with part-time workers “because it is cheaper”.
In a letter to the union last month, Royal Mail’s HR director John Millidge said the organisation had been badly affected by the recession. The UK postal market was declining by between 8% and 10% compared to a year ago. It said each percentage point dropped represented a decline of £7m in revenue.
CWU spokesman Martin Walsh said yesterday: “We’re fighting against unacceptable attacks on jobs and services in Royal Mail at a time when the company is performing well. Strike action is a last resort for our members who can ill afford to lose wages.”
Royal Mail’s national workforce has fallen from nearly 230,000 to 176,000 since 2002.