The postal strikes set to involve more than 115,000 workers over the next fortnight have been postponed after Royal Mail served the workers’ union with a legal letter.
Royal Mail’s legal department wrote to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) drawing attention to issues with the formal notification of planned rolling strike action. This led to the union voting to withdraw action planned over the nest two weeks.
However, strikes will resume on 12 November, the CWU said.
The two parties are set to enter into talks with Acas today (31 October) with a view to reaching an agreement that would avert further strike action.
A statement from Royal Mail said: “The CWU has withdrawn strike action following Royal Mail writing to CWU to highlight numerous material concerns with the formal notification of planned rolling strike action.
Royal Mail industrial relations
“We will continue to do all we can to keep business, companies and the country connected.”
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “We recognise the deep frustration felt by many members over this decision. But the fact remains that the current direction of Royal Mail doesn’t benefit the company, the community or the country.
“We still need to secure a decent future of this industry, and no attempts to attack our union and our members will change our determination in fighting for that.
“The current focus of the coming days will be negotiations that can hopefully achieve a sensible deal to end this dispute.”
Royal Mail workers have taken part in several strikes over the summer and autumn concerning pay and planned changes to their terms and conditions.
In the summer, CWU members delivered a 97.6% vote in favour of a strike on a 77% turnout, which the union claimed was the “biggest mandate for strike action reached since the implementation of the 2016 Trade Union Act”. A further vote in August saw 98.7% vote for further strike action on a 72% turnout.
Earlier this year the delivery firm offered workers a 2% pay rise, which the union rejected as an “insult” as the cost of living continued to rise.
Royal Mail recently announced up to 6,000 redundancies in response to falling parcel volumes and to achieve productivity improvements.