Royal Mail workers have voted to enter into a formal dispute with its management over pay and conditions, paving the way for further strikes.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by 98.7% on a 72.2% turnout. It follows a separate ballot in July, which saw 97.6% vote in favour of a strike on a 77% turnout.
Industrial action over pay is already scheduled to take place next week. CWU members will be striking on Friday 26 August, Wednesday 31 August, Thursday 8 September and Friday 9 September.
CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “Today’s result is another rejection of those at the top of Royal Mail, who should consider their positions.
“Postal workers in this country are being pushed to the edge, but there can be no doubt that they will fight the planned erosion of their workplace rights with determination.”
Industrial action over pay
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “Instead of engaging meaningfully on change that will secure future jobs, the CWU has decided to ballot against change. We are losing £1 million a day, and we need to change what we are doing to fix the situation and protect jobs.
“This change is also needed to support the pay package we have offered to CWU grade colleagues, worth up to 5.5%. This is the biggest increase we have offered for many years and the CWU have rejected it. This would add around £230 million to Royal Mail’s annual people costs when the business is already loss-making.”
The spokesperson said it had attempted to meet the union this week, but the CWU could not attend the meeting.
“The CWU have their heads in the sand and are failing to grasp the seriousness of the situation,” the spokesperson said.
“Royal Mail can have a bright future, but we can’t achieve that by living in the past. Customers want more parcels, bigger parcels, delivered the next day, including Sundays, and more environmentally friendly options. By modernising, we can offer more of what our customers want at a price they are willing to pay, all whilst protecting jobs on the best terms and conditions in the industry.”