Royal Mail chief urges staff to “consider all the facts” before voting on strike action

Royal Mail’s HR chief has urged the organisation’s staff to “consider all the facts” before deciding whether or not to vote for strike action.

Last week, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) began sending out 130,000 ballot papers to Royal Mail staff asking them to support industrial action. The ballot has been called in a row over pay and the organisation’s business plan.

The CWU is angry at the offer of a 2.5% pay increase, and claims 40,000 jobs are at risk as the organisation modernises and work becomes increasingly automated.

But Tony McCarthy,  Royal Mail’s group director for people and organisational development, said market competition meant that change was necessary.

“Competition is taking revenue away from us and we’ve got to compete properly with other businesses,” he told Personnel Today. “The organisation is changing, and change is often difficult for people. But they have to remember that things are a hell of a lot better now than they used to be.

“When they come to make a decision [on striking], staff have to have all the facts in front of them and fully understand the position the company is in,” he said.

However, the CWU’s deputy general secretary Dave Ward said the union had “no choice” but to ballot its members over the “unacceptable” business plan and pay offer.

The ballot will end on 7 June. A result is expected to be announced the same day.

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