British Royal Mail’s main trade union is to ballot more than 100,000 workers on industrial action as a labour dispute threatens to erupt into the first UK-wide strikes since the postal service was privatised.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has set out plans to consult its members over a disagreement it said relates to issues including employment terms and conditions and job security.
The move marks a dramatic deterioration of industrial relations at the FTSE 250 company, which averted nationwide walkouts last year over the closure of a retirement fund.
A ballot of CWU members is scheduled to open on September 24th, with the result due on October 8th. This raises the possibility of serious disruption in the run-up to the peak season ahead of Christmas, a crucial time for the business.
It will pile further pressure on chief executive Rico Back, who since taking the reins at the 500-year-old company little more than a year ago has seen Royal Mail’s shares sink below the price of its 2013 stock market listing. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019