Royal Mail has turned to public opinion in an attempt to avert strike action, claiming an independent poll shows nearly three-quarters (72%) of consumers believe posties should accept the current pay offer and call off industrial action.
The company said the poll of 1,468 adults – conducted last week by Mori – also shows 78% of UK adults believe the pay offer of 8.6% over three years is “very fair” or “fair”.
However, the poll focused only on the union’s pay claims and did not quiz the public over whether they agreed with privatisation plans, which has consistently proved unpopular with most Brits.
Unbowed, the Communications Workers Union has already given formal notice of its intent to ballot members over strike action. Ballot papers are set to go out to 115,000 members on September 27. The formal notice means that unless Royal Mail can come to an agreement with the CWU, nationwide strikes could begin as early as October 23.
But the CWU’s strike threat is not only focusing on the issue of pay, but also comes in protest to the Royal Mail’s imminent privatisation, which the union fundamentally opposes.
It is taking its fight to the Labour Party conference this week. Billy Hayes, CWU general secretary, said: “A one nation society is embodied by postal workers delivering daily to every address from John O’Groats to Lands End. We are asking the Labour Party conference to continue its opposition to the government’s sale by committing to re-nationalisation under a Labour government.
“We know the conference will agree with us and return the cherished UK postal service to public ownership,” he added.
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