08/10/2009

Vote For UK Mail Strike Questioned

It could be a cold festive season this year as the Christmas post is now in doubt.

But while it looks like being seriously affected now that Royal Mail workers have voted for a national strike - management insist that a majority are not in favour. The union, the Communication Workers Union (CWU) said that staff voted three to one in favour of action, with 61,623 out of a total of 80,830 workers who voted saying they wanted to strike.

But Royal Mail said almost six out of 10 of the total number of postal workers across the UK did not in fact vote to strike.

The Royal Mail management also "condemned" the plan to strike as "deplorable and irresponsible", saying it would drive away customers and undermine confidence in the postal service.

Since the end of June, members of the CWU have been staging localised 24-hour strikes across the country - with the Royal Mail management saying that nine million items have been delayed as a result.

Royal Mail says fresh strike action would be damaging but they maintain they must press on with modernisation.
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This afternoon, they insisted that nearly 60% of postmen and women around the UK have not in voted for strike action at all.

Royal Mail said that while the CWU balloted its 121,000 members in Royal Mail, a further 20,000 postmen and women have chosen not to join the union and didn't vote.

Royal Mail has already completed the major efficiency changes planned for 2009, both nationally and in London, under the 2007 Pay and Modernisation Agreement, leaving no reason for the CWU to continue its unjustified strikes.

Michael Kennedy, Royal Mail's Regional Operations Director for Northern Ireland, said: "It is clearly reprehensible for the union to continue to hold strikes when Royal Mail is not planning any further efficiency changes for the rest of the 2009 calendar year.

"The priority facing everyone in Royal Mail is to deliver the best possible service to customers in the run up to Christmas.

"We have held more than 70 meetings with the CWU over the last few months and we call on them now to stop the strikes, get back round the table and talk."

(BMcC/GK)

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