Royal Mail workers vote to go on 24 hour strike

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Royal Mail workers have voted to go on a 24-hour national strike on November 4 unless an agreement is made in a dispute about jobs, terms and conditions and a pay rise.

Postal workers belonging to the Communication Workers Union voted in favour of strike action by four to one on Wednesday.

The national strike action, which will be the first by Royal Mail workers for almost four years, was supported by 78 percent of the 71,913 people who voted, which represents 63 per cent of the union.

The Communication Worker Union is allowing two weeks to reach an agreement but if mutual grounds can not be found workers will strike.

The Communication Workers Union represents all non-managerial staff in Royal Mail Group working as delivery people, sorting staff, drivers, admin and back-office roles.

The ballot affects 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail and Parcelforce, but not the Post Office.

The union also announced a new ballot that will enable postal workers to boycott competitors’ mail, on top of the strike action.

The Royal Mail was listed on the London stock market in a high profile float on Tuesday. Workers were given 10 per cent of the shares to ease relations.

Each full time member of staff was given 725 shares, worth £3,545 at Tuesday’s close.

Communication Workers Union deputy general secretary Dave Ward, said: “Postal workers have spoken very clearly that they care about their jobs, terms and conditions far more than they care about shares.

“The stakes have become much higher for postal workers since privatisation making this ballot more important than ever.

“Postal workers will not be the people who pay for the profits of private operators and faceless shareholders.”

“The clock is ticking for both sides and we need Royal Mail to work to reach agreement before this deadline.

“What we want is a groundbreaking, long term, legally binding agreement that not only protects postal workers’ job security, pay and pensions - but will also determine the strategy, principles and values of how the Royal Mail Group will operate as a private entity.

“This means there will be no further breakup of the company, no franchising of individual offices or delivery rounds, no introduction of a cheaper workforce on two-tier terms and conditions and no part time industry.

Dave Ward added: “On top of a strike, the union will seek a mandate from members to carry out the boycott of competitors’ mail.

“In law, this needs a separate ballot and we will commence the procedures for this at the earliest opportunity. The boycott will be used to supplement strike action. Royal Mail needs to reach an agreement with us now and avoid the consequences of these two types of action from postal workers.”