Up to 10,000 postal workers will strike for 24 hours next Friday (19 June) in a row over jobs, causing huge disruption to mail deliveries.
The Communication Workers Union set the strike date after its members voted 9-1 in favour of industrial action. The union has insisted job cuts are “arbitary”, and claimed Royal Mail was using the recession to cut full-time jobs and replace the positions with part-time workers “because it is cheaper”.
More than two thirds (65%) of those eligible to vote participated in the strike ballot.
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. The letter 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.”
A Royal Mail spokesman said a strike would not help to modernise the service. He added: “We are only putting in place changes which are already agreed with the CWU as part of the 2007 deal.”
Royal Mail’s national workforce has fallen from nearly 230,000 to 176,000 since 2002.