Royal Mail managers have voted to strike in a dispute over job cuts and a redeployment programme to bring in “worsening terms and conditions”.
Members belonging to the Unite union in Great Britain backed walkouts by 86% and by 89% in Northern Ireland in the dispute, which involves about 2,400 managers across more than 1,000 delivery offices. Strike dates are to be announced later this week, Unite said.
The union’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, said “enough is enough” and that Royal Mail shareholders have been “seizing profits”. She said: “It is no surprise at all that these workers have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action.
“Make no mistake, Royal Mail is awash with cash – there is no need whatsoever to sack workers, drive down pay or pursue this ill-thought-out redeployment programme.
“These plans are all about boardroom greed and profiteering and nothing whatsoever to do with securing this vital public service.
“Shareholders have been seizing the Royal Mail profits, while our members have been holding the service together. Enough is enough.
“Our Royal Mail members are guaranteed Unite’s 100% support in any industrial action they take this summer to get the company off this ruinous path.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the announcement that Unite members have voted in favour of both industrial action and industrial action short of a strike, also known as work to rule.
“Unite have stated they will be informing us in due course in relation to the terms of any industrial action.
“Throughout the ballot process, Unite head office has misled members about additional job losses. This is not true. Unite has ignored our request to correct these claims.
“There are no grounds for industrial action. The extended consultation on these changes concluded earlier this year, and the restructuring is complete.
“We committed to protecting pay for all managers who stay with Royal Mail, and the vast majority will see an increase in their earnings.”
The industrial action is not related to the ballot of about 115,000 postal workers belonging to the Communication Workers Union (CWU). Members started voting on Tuesday on whether to stage a campaign of industrial action, with the result expected on 19 July.
The CWU said it could be “the biggest strike” in what is shaping up to be a summer of discontent, as thousands of workers from different industries walk out to demand pay awards that keep up with soaring inflation.