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Royal Mail and Parcelforce workers who are members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action during peak season.

Of a turnout of 75.9%, 97.1% of Royal Mail workers at the union support industrial action, while two ballots of Parcelforce workers yielded results of 95% and 94.7%.

The workers have voted over concerns relating to job security, workload and employment contracts.

“The workforce has completely rejected the company’s plans to set up a separate parcels business and allow UK postal services and thousands upon thousands of jobs to wither on the vine,” said CWU General Secretary Dave Ward, referring to CEO Rico Back’s plans to turn Parcelforce, a Royal Mail division, into its own limited company.

Royal Mail and Parcelforce workers vote in favour of Christmas strikes
Credit: Johannes Plenio

The CWU has accused Royal Mail of reneging on a blueprint agreement made a year ago—with the outgoing CEO, Moya Greene—that included pension solutions, extended legal protections, a shorter working week, and assurances that Royal Mail would continue to meet its social obligations as the UK’s designated postal provider, delivering mail six days a week with universal pricing across the UK.

Royal Mail responded: “We are very disappointed that CWU members have voted in favour of industrial action.” However, it noted: “A ballot result for industrial action does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action. No action can be taken, and formal notification of industrial action cannot be given, before the conclusion of our mediation period.

“We want to reach an agreement. Industrial action – or the threat of it – is damaging for our business and undermines the trust of our customers.”

Source: Post & Parcel

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