Royal Mail staff set to strike over pay and pensions

Royal Mail worker Image copyright Getty Images

Royal Mail workers are set to strike for 48 hours from 19 October in a dispute over pensions, pay and jobs.

The Communication Workers Union said it had told the Royal Mail Group that 111,000 postal workers will walk out.

The industrial action follows the 89.1% vote in favour of a strike announced by the union on Thursday.

Royal Mail said it will use all legal options, including applying for a High Court injunction, to prevent industrial action.

The FTSE 250-listed company called for further talks with the CWU, adding: "We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful."

The union said the company's move to replace the pension scheme meant its members would lose up to a third of their retirement entitlements.

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said it was a "watershed dispute" that would determine the future of the postal service.

"We are determined to take whatever steps are necessary to deliver an agreement that will protect and enhance our member's terms and conditions and improve the range of services on offer to customers," he said.

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The CWU vote, which had a 73.7% turnout, is the first major ballot since the introduction of the Trade Union Act, which requires a 50% turnout.

The union did not rule out further strike action in addition to the 48-hour walkout later this month.

CWU deputy general secretary Terry Pullinger said it had been in negotiations with the company for 18 months.

"Royal Mail Group management have clearly moved away from the spirit and intent of our agreements and the empty promises of privatisation, and have suffered a huge vote of no confidence from their employees and CWU members as a consequence," he said.

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