Published: Thu, October 05, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Royal Mail say "A ballot result does not necessarily mean industrial action"

Royal Mail say

According to the CWU, this is the first strike ballot for Royal Mail since the introduction of Conservative legislation setting thresholds for turnouts and results. "The union can not take industrial action until these dispute resolution procedures have been completed".

"Our union are committed to reaching a deal, but we can not, and will not accept attacks on our members or the service".

The Telegraph meanwhile noted in its coverage of the news that Royal Mail workers were planning to hold an initial two-day strike on November 24 and 25, which will coincide with the Black Friday holiday, widely acknowledged as the start of the Christmas shopping period.

The result does not necessarily mean industrial action will happen, with the CWU's postal executive expected to confirm next steps later this week. The move came after the privatised postal operator unveiled plans to scrap its defined benefits pension plan and replace it with an alternative, less costly scheme.

Postal workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action in a row over pay and pensions - raising the prospect of a national stoppage in the run-up to Christmas - the busiest time of the year for mail.

A spokesperson at Royal Mail said: "Under its proposals, Royal Mail would continue to provide the best pay and terms and conditions in the industry by some distance". Royal Mail pays 45-50% more than this.

CMU Deputy General Secretary, Postal, Terry Pullinger said the vote was a "massive vote of no confidence in the managerial leadership of the Royal Mail Group".

"The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked". "We want to reach agreement".

'We believe these dispute resolution procedures must be followed and the union can not take industrial action until they have been completed'.

"This is a dispute about honour and we refuse to simply stand aside".

The company said it remained committed to finding a deal on pensions and pay, with offers still on the table including wage increases of 5% - linked to productivity improvements. RMPP members would also have the choice to join a defined contribution scheme instead if they wished to do so.

The company said industrial action would be "damaging" for its business, undermining the trust of its customers.

In late morning trading, Royal Mail shares - which were surprisingly demoted to the FTSE 250 index from the FTSE 100 last month - were down 2.8%, or 10.6p at 373.6p.

But rising costs, falling investment returns and people living longer have made it increasingly tough to fund defined benefit pension schemes.

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