As expected, postal workers have voted to strike in their dispute with Royal Mail over pay and working conditions. 77% of those voting were in favour of industrial action. CWU deputy general secretary Dave Ward said that no date had yet been set for action: by law, the union must give RM at least seven days’ notice before striking.
Mr Ward said that “the threat to the very future of your postal services is real.” Workers have rejected a below-inflation 2.5% pay offer from RM, demanding instead a 27% increase over the next five years to bring pay up to the national average. However, talks between the union and management are still continuing: Mr Ward said that workers would give RM “a further opportunity to back off from their cuts and come back to the negotiating table with a fresh approach.”
FSB trade and industry chairman, Clive Davenport said that a strike could be very damaging for small businesses: “Small businesses would be hardest hit by this dispute. A cheque delayed in the post can mean the difference between life and death for a small business, which means that this strike cannot be allowed to go ahead.”
If only it were that simple.