CWU agrees Royal Mail strike ballot

The Communication Workers Union has today (Thursday) agreed to hold a national strike ballot of Royal Mail workers unless protections for jobs and services can be secured.

Around 500 CWU reps met at the union’s policy forum in London today and voted unanimously in favour of holding a national strike ballot in Royal Mail no later than September 2013. If the ballot goes ahead it will include 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail (excluding Parcelforce and the Post Office) and would be the first ballot for national strike action in Royal Mail since September 2009.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “The current situation cannot go on. Postal workers are being squeezed in their workplaces, facing an uncertain future and changes to their pensions. There hasn’t yet been a pay rise for staff this year despite healthy company profits of £403 million. But most importantly, we want protections for job security and terms and conditions and these are sadly lacking.

“CWU is committed to holding serious negotiations with Royal Mail to achieve settlement on these issues, but efforts to date do not bode well.

“The company only began to seriously negotiate with us following our consultative ballot in June, which showed 99% of postal workers back the union’s position on pay, 96% are opposed to privatisation and 92% are willing to take part in a boycott of competitors’ mail and to withdraw cooperation on workplace changes.

“We do not take the decision to hold a strike ballot lightly. However, we will stop at nothing to ensure the future of our members’ jobs – and of the services they deliver – are protected.”

Wording of the policy:

“That the CWU will prioritise national negotiations along the policy lines stated. If satisfactory agreements cannot be secured, the union will hold a National Industrial Action Ballot no later than September 2013. The Postal Executive will have discretion to enact the ballot earlier in light of events, the actions of management and progress made.”

CWU reps are debated a range of issues at the two-day policy forum, including securing job protections in Royal Mail, alternative business models to privatisation, changes to pensions, and workplace pressure.

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