The DMA is urging both Royal Mail and the Communications Workers Union to “urgently” settle their differences following confirmation that postal workers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, which could trigger national walkouts in the run-up to Christmas.
The CWU said a ballot of 110,000 staff had a turnout of 73%, with 89% of voters backing industrial action.
The union said its next move will be decided at a meeting later this week, but insisted the vote indicated a clear feeling among members that Royal Mail bosses should step aside because they no longer have the trust of frontline staff.
The dispute surrounds the closure of Royal Mail’s final salary pension scheme to new entrants, the terms of a replacement scheme, and also rows over pay and delivery office closures – all linked to privatisation, according to the union.
CWU deputy general secretary 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.
“Any sense of vocational spirit and working together with management has been lost in a climate of fear and insecurity. The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked.”
But DMA group chief executive Chris Combemale said that “at a time of uncertainty for the country and our industry, with ongoing Brexit negotiations and the challenge of GDPR implementation, the CWU’s vote in favour of strike action is concerning”.
He claimed the dispute could create more instability in this challenging time and during this important period for many businesses.
Combemale added: “We urge both parties to resume negotiations urgently and settle their differences, to avoid disruption to the Christmas sales season, which is critical to the UK’s retailers.”
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