Royal Mail workers vote 'overwhelmingly' to continue strikes campaign

Almost 96% of members of the Communication Workers Union were in favour of more strikes unless the deadlock is broken.

Royal Mail workers in Communication Workers Union vote ‘overwhelmingly’ to continue strikes campaign iStock

Royal Mail workers have voted overwhelmingly to continue strike action in a dispute over pay, jobs and condition.

A new ballot of members in the Communication Workers Union showed almost 96% were in favour of more strikes unless the deadlock is broken.

Dave Ward, the union’s general secretary, said it was a “stunning” result which showed that Royal Mail workers were determined to continue campaigning against plans to introduce changes in the company.

He revealed that talks have been held with Royal Mail’s chairman and new members of the board with a view to “refresh” talks to try to reach an agreement.

Royal Mail workers have staged a series of strikes in recent months, including in the busy run up to Christmas, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

No new strikes have been announced but the union’s postal executive will meet next week to discuss the next move.

Mr Ward said he believed the Royal Mail board had intervened to allow a different approach to be made.

In a statement he said: “This vote is a historic testament to CWU members across the country who have stood firm against the most severe attacks faced by any set of workers since the miners.

“It is proof that postal workers will not accept their livelihoods being destroyed so that a few at the top can generate serious profits at their expense.

“It is proof that workers loyal to an historic institution like Royal Mail will not accept it being turned into an Uber-style, bog-standard gig economy employer.

“It is proof that for Royal Mail to begin functioning normally again, there needs to be a change in negotiating approach from its leadership that recognises the depth of feeling from the workforce that make their company.

“These people will never be bullied, intimidated or harassed into submission, and this result is a concrete demonstration of that spirit.

“I urge responsible voices in Royal Mail’s leadership to take stock of what has happened today.”

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that the CWU members who took part in the ballot have voted to take further industrial action.

“Even the threat of more strike action by the CWU means more customers will switch their parcel business to our competitors. We remain committed to getting around the table with the CWU, resolving this dispute and agreeing a pay and change deal for our people. Should the CWU announce further strike action, we have plans to minimise disruption and get our services back to normal as soon as possible to keep people, businesses and the country connected.

“Royal Mail can have a bright future, and the CWU play a part in that, but further strikes and resistance to change by the CWU will only worsen our financial position and threaten the long-term job security of our postmen and women. Not changing is not an option in a business losing £1m a day. The company’s financial position is worsening with every strike day, and we know that it is well understood by our employees. Royal Mail reported losses of almost £300m in the nine months to December 2022, two-thirds resulting from industrial action.

“We urge the CWU to seriously consider our best and final pay offer and to work with us to transform Royal Mail and secure its future. That is in the best interests of Royal Mail and all its employees.”

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