Royal Mail staff vote for strike action to ‘fight and protect’ their pensions

Written by Talya Misiri

A total of 89.1 per cent of Royal Mail employees have voted in favour of strike action to “fight and protect” their pensions, it has been announced.

The national postal strike ballot saw the involvement of 73 per cent of Communication Workers Union members working for the Royal Mail. With almost nine in every 10 members voting for strike action, the ballot was the first of its kind since the introduction of newly introduced Trade Union Act which set thresholds for turnout and results.

The ballot was spurred by the ongoing dispute regarding Royal Mail Group staff’s pension rights, pay, working hours, job security and improvements to the service.

Of the Royal Mail’s 110,000 members, close to three quarters voted in the ballot. In response to the ballot result, the CWU postal executive will meet later this week to decide the union’s next move and potential strike dates.

CWU deputy general secretary postal Terry Pullinger said: “This ballot result is hugely significant and demonstrates a strength of feeling that can only be translated as a massive vote of no confidence in the managerial leadership of the Royal Mail Group and the direction that they advocate”.

“The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked. This is a dispute about honour and we refuse to simply stand aside.”

CWU general secretary Dave Ward added: “This is a fantastic result for our members and indeed the wider Trade Union movement. As the first union to test the Trade Union Act we have passed with flying colours. The mixture of a fantastic campaign, led by Terry Pullinger and the Postal Executive, a brilliantly innovative communications strategy and an inspirational ground force has returned a resounding result.

“The CWU have tapped into a mood amongst workers in across the UK. Our members are prepared to stand up and fight to protect their terms and conditions and we will do everything within our means to defend them.”

Earlier this year Royal Mail confirmed its plans for a new pension scheme that comprises of a defined benefit cash balance scheme and a defined contribution scheme that will be funded within its current £400m annual pension contribution.

The company is offering its employees a choice between a DB scheme and a DC scheme, which have been set up as new sections of the Royal Mail Pension Plan. Royal Mail is one of few companies replacing one DB scheme with another.

Nonetheless, the firm’s plan has been met with considerable rejection from worker’s unions CWU and Unite.

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