"Christmas could be cancelled" as Royal Mail workers vote to strike

Royal Mail post strike

"Even if the strikes are limited; it will have significant consequences across the industry as other delivery companies try to absorb the extra volumes at this hugely busy period".

Royal Mail and Parcelforce Worldwide will create 20,000 temporary Christmas jobs in 2017 as the delivery firms gear up for another hectic holiday season.

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) announced in a statement yesterday that 89.1 percent of voters had backed strike action, with 73 percent of the CWU's 110,000 Royal Mail members participating in the vote. "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".

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Earlier this year, the United Kingdom postal operator announced it would be closing Royal Mail Pension Plan, its current defined benefit (DB) scheme, to future accruals from next year.

It is thought the Communication Workers Union postal executive committee will meet on Thursday to make the official decision to strike. Royal Mail has brought to the CWU's attention the contractual dispute resolution procedures included in the AFG, which both sides are required to follow once instigated.

Royal Mail said that it was "disappointed" by the result: "A ballot result for industrial action does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action".

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They say it unilaterally closed its final salary pension scheme, with new employees going into a separate scheme that will pay less. They escalate to independent external mediation, which we expect will take close to Christmas to be completed, and may be longer. Royal Mail pays 45-50% more than this. Many competitors pay around the national living wage. "The union can not take industrial action until these dispute resolution procedures have been completed".

It said it has offered proposals of up to a 5% pay increase over two years, as well as to replace with defined benefit pension scheme with another type of defined benefit scheme.

The firm has already announced that its Defined Benefit Pension Scheme would close to future accrual from 31st March 2018, with proposals made for a new scheme to be introduced to provide the potential for combined employee and employer pension contributions of almost 20%.

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Royal Mail said is has proposed "significant improvements" to members of the Royal Mail's defined contribution plan, with a maximum company contribution of 10%.

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