Royal Mail staff agree on November strike: union

16th October 2013, Comments 0 comments

Royal Mail postal workers have voted overwhelmingly to stage a one-day strike next month in opposition to the government's recent part-privatisation of the group, a trade union ballot showed Wednesday.

A total 78 percent of those who voted backed strike action for November 4 in protest also at postal workers' current pay conditions, the Communication Workers Union said in a statement.

"Postal workers in Royal Mail have today voted by 4 to 1 in favour of strike action in a move to protect their jobs, terms and conditions and secure a pay rise," said the CWU statement.

"CWU is allowing two weeks to reach an agreement but has also announced that strike action will take place on Monday 4th November if no agreement is concluded by that date."

CWU Deputy General Secretary Dave Ward added: "The stakes have become much higher for postal workers since privatisation, making this ballot more important than ever. Postal workers will not be the people who pay for the profits of private operators and faceless shareholders."

Full trading of shares in Royal Mail began on Tuesday following a controversial part-privatisation of the group.

The privatisation forms part of the coalition government's bid to slash Britain's budget deficit. The CWU argues that customers will now receive a worse service.

The government has long argued that partial privatisation will allow Royal Mail the freedom to raise capital, continue modernising and meet booming demand for online shopping that generates parcel traffic.

The value of Royal Mail shares have meanwhile surged by as much as 50 percent in only a few days compared with the offer price of 330 pence.

© 2013 AFP

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