CWU to ballot on Royal Mail privatisation strike

The CWU (Communication Worker’s Union) has agreed to ballot members on national strike action unless certain guarantees to staff regarding pay and conditions can be safe-guarded prior to privatisation.

If the ballot goes ahead it will include 115,000 postal workers in Royal Mail (excluding Parcelforce and the Post Office) and would be the first ballot for national strike action in Royal Mail since September 2009.

Dave Ward of the CWU said: “Workers have embraced modernisation, and helped increase profits by 60%, so why should we just hand it over to someone only interested in making money? We have a duty to defend the postal service – and we will.”

A Royal Mail Spokesperson said: “Royal Mail is disappointed that the CWU intends to call for a national strike ballot. A highly competitive pay offer and agreement has been proposed to the CWU and has been rejected. Talks are on-going and we are committed to seeking an agreement. We believe that a ballot on strike action is inappropriate.”

The Royal Mail have also scored something of an own goal today by revealing that the boss of Royal Mail Paula Vennells received a 37% increase in her reward package last year (up from £510,000 to £697,000).

Andy Furey of the CWU said of the payrise: Andy Furey said: “Paula Vennells took a 37% pay increase in the same year that she imposed a pay freeze on Crown staff and reduced payments to postmasters. The company is rewarding senior executives with exorbitant bonuses while setting plans to slash jobs and close post offices. This is a case of extreme double standards where front-line staff are squeezed while huge sums of money are lavished on those at the top. It’s completely unacceptable that public money should be spent in this way.”