A trade union has told Royal Mail that it is to launch a strike ballot of 110,000 postal workers.
The Communication Workers Union will ask its members whether they are prepared to walk out in a dispute over an alleged breach of labour agreements and other issues. It could lead to the first national postal strike in a decade.
Union leaders fear that Royal Mail’s management wants to break up the company and are worried about the future of the universal service obligation, under which mail is delivered throughout the UK at uniform prices six days a week.
Terry Pullinger, CWU deputy general secretary, said: “This union and its membership are in the fight of our lives. We face an assault on our terms, conditions and national agreements like we have never seen before.”
Ballot papers will be dispatched on September 24, with the result declared on October 15.
Royal Mail urged for further talks, saying that no industrial action could be taken before the conclusion of a mediation period.
It added: “We will be urging our colleagues to vote ‘no’ in the upcoming ballot. 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.”
Shares in Royal Mail were down 4 per cent on Wednesday to 217.4p, below the 330p per share at which the company was privatised in 2013.
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