Royal Mail workers to be balloted over strike action

24-08-2006

Britain faces its first national postal strike in over a decade after union leaders announced their decision to ballot Royal Mail workers over a pay dispute.

Around 136,000 postal workers will vote on strike action after the Communication Workers Union (CWU) failed to reach an agreement with Royal Mail over an imposed wage rise of 2.9 per cent.

The union said that the dispute also concerned Royal Mail's failure to alter working practices and plans to make thousands of its employees redundant.

Ballot papers will be distributed to postal workers on July 10th, with the result expected to be known by the end of the month if the vote goes ahead.

But the CWU said that it was still willing to negotiate an agreement with Royal Mail, although the union stressed that unless a deal was reached within the next week, it would be prepared to take strike action.

"Royal Mail should be under no illusion that the CWU is prepared to take decisive action to defend the pay and future job security of our members," said CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward.

"I would suggest that Royal Mail seize this opportunity and work hard to reach an acceptable agreement or a strike ballot will take place," he added.

A Royal Mail spokesman said the company remained "very willing" to talk to the union but faced challenges in modernising its postal business in an "increasingly tough" market.


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