A national postal strike moved a step closer today after CWU members working in Royal Mail Group delivered a huge message to the employer with a stunning 89.1% ‘Yes’ vote on a threshold-smashing 73% turnout.
In the first nationwide strike ballot since the introduction of Tory legislation setting thresholds for turnout and results, the union has passed both criteria by massive margins, with almost nine of every 10 members backing the call to arms.
Almost three-quarters of the CWU’s 110,000 Royal Mail members took part in the vote, which was sparked by the company’s attack on the pension rights of hard-working postmen and women and the refusal of the employer to engage seriously over pay, working hours, future job security and the need to improve and grow the service to the public.
The union’s deputy general secretary (postal) Terry Pullinger said: “This ballot result is hugely significant and demonstrates a strength of feeling that can only be translated as a massive vote of no confidence in the managerial leadership of the Royal Mail Group and the direction that they advocate.
“Any sense of vocational spirit and working together with management has been lost in a climate of fear and insecurity. This massive failure in trust has created a break down in relationships and a toxic environment where working together to solve difficult problems has become almost impossible. The managerial leadership has failed and should resign or be sacked.
“This is a dispute about honour and we refuse to simply stand aside,” Terry added.
Reacting to the result, CWU general secretary Dave Ward said: “This is a fantastic result for our members and indeed the wider trade union movement. As the first union to test the Trade Union Act we have passed with flying colours. The mixture of a fantastic campaign, led by Terry Pullinger and the Postal Executive, a brilliantly innovative communications strategy and an inspirational ground force has returned a resounding result.
“The CWU have tapped into a mood amongst workers in across the UK. Our members are prepared to stand up and fight to protect their terms and conditions and we will do everything within our means to defend them,” Dave added.
• The CWU Postal Executive will meet later this weeks to determine the next steps in this campaign and any potential strike dates.