Royal Mail has said it is “committed to further talks as a matter of urgency” after receiving formal notice from the Communication Workers Union that it will ballot members over industrial action – which could result in the first major postal service strike in a decade.
Last month it emerged that the CWU was considering whether to ballot more than 100,000 of its members working at Royal Mail over a number of grievances.
Yesterday (18 September) Royal Mail confirmed it had received formal notification of the intended ballot.
“Under the terms of the notice, all CWU members (other than those working in Royal Mail Property and Facilities Solutions) will be balloted. The earliest opening date of the ballot will be 24 September 2019,” Royal Mail said, while emphasising that a ballot would not necessarily mean there will be industrial action.
Meanwhile, the union has begun a social media campaign with the hashtag #WeRiseAgain featuring Royal Mail workers pictured holding posters at different locations around the country.
In a statement, Royal Mail said: “No industrial action can be taken before the conclusion of our mediation period. We will continue to engage in the agreed dispute resolution processes set out in the Agenda for Growth.”
The group said it would be urging workers to vote ‘no’.
“Industrial action – or the threat of it – undermines the trust of our customers. It makes it harder for Royal Mail to pay for the existing industry-leading terms and conditions it provides.
“Royal Mail is committed to further talks as a matter of urgency. We believe there are no grounds for industrial action. We remain committed to open and constructive engagement with the CWU. We all want a successful and sustainable company that provides good quality jobs, fairness in workloads, and continues delivering a sustainable Universal Service.”
Two years ago strike action over a pension dispute was called off after the Royal Mail won a High Court injunction to stop it.