Royal Mail (RM) workers have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action, although they will not walk out yet, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) voted by 94.5% for a strike, in an ongoing dispute over job security, and employment terms and conditions. The CWU had dismissed an RM proposal, which included a 6% three-year pay increase, and balloted members for the second time in four months – a strike was averted last year when RM successfully secured an injunction against proposed action.
But after announcing the result of the ballot the CWU said it was not calling for action ‘at this point’, instead proposing that postal workers become an ‘additional emergency service’ during the coronavirus crisis.
RM responded by pointing out that the conditions on offer are only achievable if it delivers the turnaround plan it unveiled last year.
Shane O’Riordain, Managing Director of Regulation, Corporate Affairs and Marketing, Royal Mail, said: “We welcome and appreciate CWU’s statement that now is not the time to take industrial action.
“We are ready to discuss the future strategic business opportunities.
“Our negotiating team is ready to continue the dialogue to agree a framework to try to find a resolution to the current dispute.
“We are meeting soon. We want to reach agreement.”
THE NFSP VIEW
Calum Greenhow, NFSP Chief Executive, said:
“A CWU-led Royal Mail (RM) worker strike will adversely affect NFSP members’ businesses.
“The delay of any industrial action until after the the pandemic provides some relief to subpostmasters, who are currently under immense pressure as they continue to provide essential services to the public.
“We hope that once the situation with the coronavirus is over, the CWU and RM will be able to negotiate a solution to prevent a strike, which would be extremely harmful to our members’ livelihoods.”