Hundreds of Royal Mail employees have voted to strike in a dispute over pay in what could possibly be the largest industrial motion of the summer season.
About 115,000 members of the Communication Employees Union (CWU)
have been balloted and voted 96.7% in favour of strikes, on a turnout of 77%. The end result of the poll was introduced by the union’s normal secretary, Dave Ward, and its deputy normal secretary, Terry Pullinger, on the York Barbican, the place about 300 CWU members have been gathered.
Ward mentioned the union would give the corporate “one other alternative to come back again to the negotiating desk” but when a deal couldn’t be reached, the CWU would notify Royal Mail of commercial motion. The strikes are anticipated to happen in August.
It’s poised to be the largest strike motion in what’s shaping as much as be a summer season of discontent, as 1000’s of employees from completely different sectors take motion to demand pay awards that preserve up with the hovering value of residing.
Rail employees have staged strikes, as have barristers in England and Wales. Heathrow airport is dealing with a three-day strike by refuellers this week, the Unite union mentioned.
The CWU mentioned administration meant to impose a 2% pay rise that may be a “severe real-terms wage minimize” for postal employees as a result of of hovering inflation.
To applause from members, Ward mentioned Royal Mail employees “must see a pay rise now that displays … that they’ve turned the fortunes of the corporate round, and the associated fee of residing disaster”.
He added that the vote for strike motion was “additionally a vote of no confidence in Royal Mail’s CEO and board, who ought to significantly take into account their futures” at the corporate’s annual assembly on Wednesday.
“Whereas bosses rake in £758m in revenue and shareholders take £400m, employees are anticipated to take a severe real-terms pay minimize.”
He mentioned the union was not against modernisation, “however modernisation appears to be about employees having to work tougher and quicker for much less pay”.
Royal Mail mentioned it had provided employees a non-conditional 2% pay enhance backdated to 1 April, and advised the CWU that an additional 3.5% was accessible, topic to settlement on a sequence of adjustments and a brand new “above and past” bonus.
A Royal Mail spokesperson mentioned: “We’re dissatisfied that CWU members have voted in favour of commercial motion.
“We provided a deal value as much as 5.5% for CWU grade colleagues, the largest enhance we’ve got provided for a few years, which the CWU rejected. We will solely fund this provide by making the adjustments that may pay for it and guarantee Royal Mail can develop and stay aggressive in a fast-moving trade.
“Regardless of almost three months of talks, the CWU haven’t engaged in any significant dialogue on the adjustments we’d like to make to adapt.
“Within the occasion of commercial motion, we’ve got contingency plans to minimise buyer disruption and can work to preserve folks, companies and the nation linked.”